McColl’s is to capitalise on its position as a convenience player in the heart of communities by strengthening its ties with the Post Office and expanding its range of on-the-go food.
The convenience store retailer has been piloting Post Office Local, which offers customers a range of products including parcel services and pension payments at the front of the store rather than at a dedicated Post Office counter at the back of the shop.
Post Office Local has been piloted across 30 of its convenience stores for the past nine months and is open throughout store opening hours.
McColl’s chairman and chief executive James Lancaster said that it plans to add the offer to a further 191 stores by the end of the year.
McColl’s has 430 Post Offices across its portfolio of stores, which also includes newsagents.
The retailer, which floated in February, also has ambitions to ramp up its ready-to-eat food, which includes hot dogs and sausage rolls, across more of its convenience stores.
Lancaster said the retailer liked to set itself apart from its competitors: “The difference between us and other convenience stores is we like to be where people live as opposed to where people work and be part of that community.”
He added: “We’re trying to be as competitive as we can… we’re trying to be more convenient all the time.”
Lancaster also said he had ambitions to expand McColl’s store portfolio to 800 stores by the end of the year and 1,000 by the end of 2016.
“Now that we have floated, we have the firepower to go faster in acquiring independent existing stores. We also have the firepower to convert quite a number of our remaining newsagent chain over to convenience stores,” he said.
In its first update as a listed company, McColl’s reported total sales up 3% and like-for-like sales up 1.4% in the 19-week period to April 6.