McColl's posts 1.9% boost in sales following expansion
Retail chain McColl's, which has bought five Co-operative shops in Northern Ireland, notched up its sixth year in a row of rising sales as it hit its target for 1,000 convenience stores across the UK.
The group posted a 1.9% rise in sales over the year to November 27 thanks to expansion efforts, which have seen it grow to 1,001 convenience shops.
It is also waiting for clearance from the competition watchdog for its takeover of 298 stores from the Co-operative to boost its chain further. The deal includes stores in Whitewell Road in north Belfast, Abbots Cross in Newtownabbey, Dunclug in Co Antrim, Tandragee in Co Armagh, and Main Street in Bangor, Co Down.
With the boost from new stores stripped out, like-for-like sales remained under pressure, falling by 1.7% in the fourth quarter and 1.9% over the full year. This marked a slight improvement on a 1.8% drop in the previous three months.
Same-store sales in its newsagents and standard convenience stores fell 3.3% over the full-year, but McColl's said the performance was better in recently acquired and converted stores, where like-for-like sales increased by 0.8%.