McColl's like-for-like sales performance improves in fourth quarter
Convenience store operator McColl's increased its total sales by 1.7% in its fourth quarter although like-for-like sales declined by the same percentage.
The like-for-like performance in the 13 weeks to 27 November was an improvement on previous quarters and meant that like-for-like sales declined by 1.9% in the year to 27 November. Total revenue for the full year was up 1.9%.
Full year like-for-like sales in recently acquired and converted stores edged up 0.8% while like-for-like sales in premium convenience and food and wine stores dropped by 1%. Like-for-like sales in newsagents and standard convenience stores fell by 3.3%.
Jonathan Miller, McColl’s chief executive, said: "The business has traded robustly in the final quarter with total sales for the full year up 1.9% and we expect our overall financial performance for the year to be in line with the board's expectations."
McColl’s acquired 58 new convenience stores during the year, bringing the total to 1,001 at the year-end. It also purchased 298 quality convenience stores from the Co-op.
The retailer said it is making good progress with its food-to-go offering with 18 new units rolled out and 13 Subway outlets now in operation.
Miller added: "As we announced in July, we will accelerate our convenience store openings in 2017 with the transformational acquisition of 298 stores from the Co-op. Our integration planning is progressing well and we are on track to begin the conversion programme in January. We are working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority and expect them to announce their findings by 23 December.”
McColl’s said it had 559 Post Offices in operation in its stores by the end of the fourth quarter most of which are now operating with extended opening hours. It also has 183 Amazon lockers installed across its estate.
The retailer plans to open 650 stores on Christmas Day.
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