Third-Quarter Sales At McColl’s Slip 1.8%

Newsagent and convenience store operator McColl’s has revealed that its like-for-like (LFL) sales were down 1.8% in the quarter to 28 August, marking a slight improvement on the year to date trend.

In year to date, LFL sales were down 2.0% with mixed performance across its store formats. Recently acquired and converted stores rose 1.0%, whilst LFL sales in its premium convenience and food and wine stores slid 1.2%.  LFL sales in its newsagents and standard convenience stores fell 3.7% as a result of “continued pressure on traditional categories”.

In line with its strategy, the group continued its expansion in the convenience sector. 36 new stores were acquired, whilst 32 food and wine conversions were completed. The group added that it now has 8 Subway outlets in operation with “excellent progress” in its Food to Go offering with 28 modules rolled out.

At the end of the period, the group operated 953 convenience stores. The group said it was track to achieve its target of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of this year. McColl’s recently agreed a deal to acquire 298 convenience stores from the Co-op.

Jonathan Miller, chief executive, said: “2016 continues to be a year of significant progress in delivering our convenience strategy.”

He added: “As a business we remain focussed on the key elements of our clear strategy: to increase market share, grow our convenience product range and deliver great customer service, which we are confident will cement our position as a leading neighbourhood retailer.

“We continue to be on track to deliver results in line with the Board’s expectations for the financial year, alongside reaching 1,000 convenience stores by the end of the calendar year.”