Scottish convenience chain Morning Noon & Night was looking Back to the Future at its tenth anniversary conference at the weekend. Predicting a 15% rise in profits for the year to March 2002, chairman Eddie Thompson said Morning Noon & Night's continued success "owes as much to the stores we did not buy as to the ones we did". Thompson said the 43-store company is sticking to a strategy of buying only stores in prime locations in local communities. In the past year that emphasis on location has allowed MN&N to escape much of the impact on tourism in Scotland from foot and mouth disease and to return a 10% rise in operating profit for the half year to September 2001, and operating profit of £1.179m on sales up 12% to £37.7m for the year ending March 2001. Sales of £42.5m are forecast for the year to March 2002. Thompson said: "It has been several months since we have added a new store to our portfolio, and we are looking at a number of sites." MN&N's continued success comes as convenience retailers in Scotland were fighting for survival because of problems such as retail crime, theft by staff, bootlegging, rocketing overheads, increased competition from the multiples and red tape, said Thompson. "Retailers are having to deal with all sorts of administrative burdens we have never had to deal with before, such as stakeholder pensions. "It is work we are having to do on the part of the UK government and the pressures will eventually lead to outlying communities in Scotland having no neighbourhood stores." He added: "That should be offset to a great degree by Morning Noon & Night and other professional, high standard convenience operators who will be looking for a larger share of the overall Scottish retail marketplace." {{NEWS }}