McColl’s Retail Group plans to open more stores on Christmas Day this year following a successful trial last year.

The c-store operator opened 500 of its 1,273 stores on 25 December 2013. “It takes a while for people to know you’re open but it is growing nicely,” chairman and CEO James Lancaster told The Grocer. “We will be opening more this year.”

He added that the stores had been manned by staff who had volunteered to work on Christmas Day and shoppers had used them for both top-up shopping and distress purchases.

This week, McColl’s reported a 1.5% increase in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 5 January. Total sales rose 2.6%.