McColl’s Retail Group has reported a 0.6% increase in sales for the third quarter and up 12.0% for the year to date.
However, Q3 like-for-like (LFL) sales were down 0.9%, supported by a period of hot weather, but still impacted by supply chain disruption following the failure of Palmer & Harvey (P&H).
McColl’s said the transition to Morrisons’ supply in 1,300 stores was completed in mid-August, ahead of the original schedule. Investment in the estate continues apace, the retailer added. Twenty six store refreshes were completed in the quarter, bringing the total since inception to 80 and delivering average sales uplifts above 5%.
McColl’s store acquisition programme is also progressing with seven new convenience stores opened in the quarter. Further sale and leaseback transactions were completed too, generating £10m of cash proceeds, in part to support the programme of estate investment.
Jonathan Miller, chief executive, said: “The accelerated rollout of 1,300 stores to Morrisons supply is now complete, including all 700 stores formerly serviced by P&H. The rapid rate of transition has been a fantastic achievement, being delivered in less than nine months, and in the face of unprecedented disruption in the sector and for our business. With our new supply chain partner in place, we can refocus on day-to-day operations, including improving availability and rebuilding trade in those stores most affected by the disruption, and I’m grateful for the continued effort from all of my colleagues.
“Our new supply arrangement also brings with it the supermarket quality Safeway range, which will help us to improve our customer experience and neighbourhood convenience offering. We have also continued to execute our strategy and improve the quality of the estate through further store refreshes and acquisitions.”