McColl’s like-for-like sales up 8.3%
The McColl’s convenience chain has posted an 8.3% uplift in first half like-for-like sales after the company benefited from stronger food and alcohol sales during the Covid-19 crisis.
However, the six months to 24 May saw the company’s total revenue edge down 1% to £604.8 million due to a number store closures taking place in the period and a decline in services revenue following the temporary withdrawal of scratch cards.
McColls chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “We have seen an extraordinary change since the onset of the crisis. Strong demand, reaching double digit like-for-like sales in recent months, has been accompanied by a significant shift in the pattern of trade. Food grocery and alcohol sales have been particularly strong, in line with our longer-term strategy to grow these categories as part of our total sales mix. Meanwhile, customers have been spending less on impulse and buying more multipack products.”
The company also reported a loss of £1.3 million compared to a profit of £0.2 million in the corresponding period last year following the drop in revenue, margin pressure and cost headwinds.
Looking ahead, McColl’s said it will be difficult to predict the full impact and duration of Covid-19 on sales and costs. Although the business is currently experiencing strong demand from customers, it is expecting to see continued margin pressure and ongoing cost headwinds relating to the implementation of social distancing and other Covid-19 health and safety measures.
Miller added: “Fundamentally, the pandemic has served to reinforce our conviction in our ongoing strategic change programme to serve our customers with a modern, local convenience offer with better meal solutions, fresh groceries and alcohol. What is clear is that the strategic importance of our neighbourhood stores and convenience retail to local communities has never been greater and, through implementing our strategy and improving our customer proposition, I remain confident in our long-term prospects.”
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