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McColl’s store closures: All UK branches to close as convenience store in administration

McColl’s has hundreds of branches across Britain, mostly in towns and city high streets. However, the company has today fallen into administration. This is likely to leave around 16,000 people jobless.

The retailer could collapse if talks around a rescue deal are not successful.

McColl’s said it is in discussions to see whether the future of the business is possible.

If the company does go into administration, more than 16,000 people will lose their jobs.

This could prove disastrous for many families as the cost of living crisis ensues.

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But this would not be the first time Morrisons has partnered with McColl’s.

The supermarket has a wholesale tie-up with the convenience store chain, as well as with Martin’s newsagents, with the objective of maintaining an image of a neighbourhood retailer.

When McColl’s purchased Martin’s newsagents in 1998, it became the largest neighbourhood retailer in the UK.

A decade later, in 2019, the company launched its Morrisons Daily formats at 10 trial stores across the country.

By 2021, McColl’s had raised £30million in order to reach 450 Morrisons Daily branches.

However, the coronavirus pandemic came at the wrong time for McColl’s and it was hit by the supply shortage crisis.

In February earlier this year, the retailer issued a statement to announce that talks were ongoing with its lending banks with the aim of reaching a long-term agreement in relation to its debt facility.

The statement added that it “continues to receive credit support from its key commercial partner, Morrisons, to enable these discussions”.

In March this year, McColl’s remained on track to reach its target of launching 450 Morrisons Daily stores by November, but that could change if it was to fail to reach financial agreements.

Teresa Wickham, a former director at Safeway, said McColl’s had been “caught in a difficult place, particularly with Covid”.

“They didn’t quite have enough fresh produce, and also at the time during the pandemic we switched very quickly to online shopping,” she told the BBC’s Today programme.

“It will survive, but whether all of it survives is a difficult thing to say.”

If McColl’s was to collapse, it is likely Morrisons will be interested in purchasing the business’ Morrisons Daily stores, according to The Grocer.

But the future remains uncertain.

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