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McColl’s is trialling Morrisons Daily across 10 stores

McColl’s has seen a positive sales uplift at its 10 Morrisons Daily trial stores, but will wait until at least the end of summer before deciding on a wider rollout.

Speaking this week after the convenience retailer reported its first-half results, CEO Jonathan Miller told The Grocer it was “very pleased” with the performance of the Morrisons Daily stores, which were converted from March to May.

“You walk in and they are like a mini Morrisons; we are very pleased with how they look and feel.”

CFO Robbie Bell said McColl’s would continue to “test and refine the offer and analyse the commercials” to assess the profitability of expanding the concept to other stores, and that it would be “taking a watching brief through the summer”.

The convenience operator revealed interim pre-tax profits had plunged from £2.3m to £200k on total revenue up from £610.4m to £611.1m.

Like-for-like sales edged up 0.4% in the second quarter, giving a total like-for-like increase of 1% for the 26 weeks to 26 May.

It opened three new convenience stores in the period and divested 41 underperforming newsagents and smaller c-stores as it continued to “reshape and optimise” its store portfolio.

It said it had seen encouraging results from a BWS range review in April. Reviews for soft drinks, confectionery, wine and healthy snacks would be completed by the end of the year.

“The market remains highly competitive, with challenging trading conditions given the unseasonable weather and uncertain economic ­climate,” said Miller.

“Despite this, we expect to be broadly in line with expectations for the full year and we are confident that our strategy will deliver sustainable returns for shareholders in the long term.”