McColl’s benefits from strong demand during Covid-19 pandemic
Convenience retailer McColl’s saw its revenue climb by 2.3% to £1.25 billion in the year 29 November after like-for-like sales climbed by 12%.
In a statement, the retailer said trade was boosted by strong demand throughout the coronavirus pandemic. However, growth was offset by 179 shop closures as the retailer accelerated its store optimsation programme as part of plans to focus on larger and more profitable convenience stores.
McColl’s said the strongest performance was delivered through the Morrisons Daily format where 31 trial stores are currently in operation.
Jonathan Miller, McColl’s chief executive, said: “As we look towards the festive period, the safety and well-being of our colleagues and customers continues to be our number one priority. I am extremely proud of all of our colleagues who have been working incredibly hard to keep supplying our neighbourhood communities with the food, goods and services they need.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have seen strong demand driven by our customer offer and the positioning of our stores in key neighbourhood locations. At the same time, we have faced significant Covid-19 related costs and our operating margins have been reduced by a change in customer behaviour and product mix.”
Looking ahead to the new financial year, McColl’s said it is expecting like-for-like revenue growth to moderate over the course of the period as the sales mix begins to “normalise”. It is also expecting its larger convenience stores to drive incremental sales in grocery, fresh food, and beers wines and spirits.
Miller added: “Despite the challenges of 2020, the pandemic has reinforced our confidence in our ongoing strategic change programme. The importance of neighbourhood stores has never been greater, and we are well positioned to continue enhancing our convenience offer by further developing our partnership with Morrisons, and further improving the quality of our estate and our overall customer experience.”
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