McColl’s is a leading convenience store and newsagent operator with a strong presence throughout the UK. It comprises around 1,250 shops, the vast majority of which are convenience stores, and it is the largest operator of Post Offices in the UK.

McColl’s has been optimising its store estate in recent years with a view to streamline to a portfolio of around 1,150 larger, more convenience-focused stores.

As such, it has been shuttering newsagents and smaller convenience stores, while also modernising existing stores, embracing new services such as online collection and return points to drive footfall.

Underlining its focus on convenience foods, Morrisons began supplying McColl’s on a wholesale basis in early 2018 and McColl’s has since been converting stores to the Morrisons Daily format, with 350 store conversions planned by the end of the 2022 financial year. 

Its convenience network was also given a massive boost in 2017 when it completed the acquisition of nearly 300 Co-op convenience stores.

Sales returned to muted growth and pre-tax losses narrowed in the year to 29 November 2020, with sales climbing 3.2% to £1.26bn buoyed by strong demand for convenience during the pandemic.

The retailer has partnered up with Uber Eats to facilitate delivery from around 135 of its stores and the retailer stated in its 2020 preliminary results that it is building its own online platform.  

It has also previously said it plans to invest in an EPoS system that could eventually facilitate self-scanning in stores.

Innovation rating: 0.5

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