- McColl’s full-year like-for-likes fall 1.9%
- Premium convenience food and wine format outperforms standard stores
- McColl’s expects full-year results to be “in line” with expectations
McColl’s has reported a 1.9% drop in full-year like-for-like sales as its premium convenience food and wine stores outperformed standard shops.
Like-for-likes fell 0.6% in its premium locations, while standard convenience stores and newsagents reported a 4% dip in sales as bosses press ahead with their strategy to convert older shops into the premium food and wine format.
The convenience store specialist said total sales grew 2.7% in its fourth quarter, driven by new store acquisitions.
Like-for-likes during the 13 weeks ending November 29 were down 1.8%, although this represented a 0.5% uplift on the previous quarter.
McColl’s said its ambitious c-store expansion strategy had been “delivered in line with plan” after it acquired 60 new convenience stores and converted 45 stores into its premium food and wine format.
The retailer remains “on track” to reach its goal of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016. It currently trades from 893 stores.
McColl’s is also continuing the roll-out of its post office proposition and now has 520 post offices in-store after acquiring 72 during the year.
“Whilst the sector continues to be challenging, total company like-for-like sales improved in the quarter, and have held up well in our developed convenience stores”
James Lancaster, McColl’s
It also hailed “encouraging early results” from its first Subway franchise, which opened during the fourth quarter at a petrol forecourt site in Tamworth.
Chief executive James Lancaster, who revealed his intention to retire last month, said he expected full-year results to be “in line” with expectations when McColl’s unveils its preliminary results in March.
He said: “I am delighted to report significant progress on our strategic initiatives for the financial year, continuing our expansion into convenience and capturing further market share.
“Whilst the sector continues to be challenging, total company like-for-like sales improved in the quarter, and have held up well in our developed convenience stores over the course of the year.
“We therefore expect results to be in line with the board’s expectations for the year.”