Retail

Morrisons To Close Unprofitable McColl's Stores; 1,300 Jobs At Risk

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British supermarket group Morrisons is to close 132 McColl's convenience stores that have no realistic prospect of making a profit in the medium term, putting 1,300 workers at risk of redundancy.

The majority of the closures will take place this year, while 55 stores that include a post office counter will close next year.

Morrisons bought the McColl's chain out of administration in May but the deal was not cleared by the competition regulator until last month.

It said that every affected worker would be offered alternative employment at a nearby McColl’s store, Morrisons store, logistics operation, or foodmaking centre.

McColl's Network

McColl's currently trades from 1,164 stores, 286 of which trade under the Morrisons Daily fascia.

The chain has annual turnover of about £1.2 billion (€1.38 billion), representing about 0.8% of the UK grocery market.

Morrisons' plan is to have more than 1,000 stores trading as Morrisons Daily within two years.

It said it will invest significantly in the McColl’s business over the next year, improving the chain's product range and pricing position.

Morrisons Performance

In September, Morrisons reported a halving of its third-quarter core earnings, as underlying sales fell 3.1% against the backdrop of a cost of living squeeze.

Morrisons said the fall reflected 'a number of temporary and transitional factors', some of which it expected to reverse in its fourth quarter, and a change to its year-end.

The group differs from its main rivals in that it also has its own manufacturing operations, which also experienced unprecedented inflationary pressure during the reporting period.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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