McColl’s share price rallied this morning amid news that its boss Jonathan Miller had voiced an interest in acquiring Tesco’s One Stop.

But after Miller played down the comments slightly during a presentation to journalists, analysts and shareholders, shares slipped back to the 200p mark by midday.

Whether or not Tesco does offload One Stop to ease competition fears over its acquisition of Booker, Miller’s comments brought the theme of convenience sector consolidation back to the surface.

Multiples like McColl’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s operated 4,383 stores at the end of 2016, representing only 8.7% of all c-stores in the UK.

Non-affiliated independents and symbol groups, such as Nisa, Spar and Booker-owned Budgens, Londis and Premier, accounted for 68% of c-stores between them.

It remains a market ripe for consolidation – and Tesco’s Booker acquisition has the potential to kick-start a raft of deals.

Elsewhere today, retail chairmen have warned that post-Brexit price rises are “unavoidable”, and we take a closer look at how the manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties would impact retail.

Quote of the day

“There are some key structural challenges in the sector at present with an enormous number of people up for sale; I see more distressed sales likely and further shake-out to come”

– Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire on the outlook for retail post-Brexit. 

Today in numbers

The fall in profits suffered by Clarks in the year to January 31.

The percentage of retail chairmen who said price rises would form part of their businesses’ strategies this year in the wake of increased sourcing costs.

Tomorrow’s agenda

Topps Tiles takes centre stage in the City as it unveils its half-year results.

Luke Tugby, head of content