South Shields Co-op store to change hands

Convenience store chain McColl's has won clearance from the competition watchdog for a deal to snap up nearly 300 outlets from the Co-operative Group.

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 12:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 1:57 pm
McColls is taking over nearly 300 Co-op stores

The shop - in Meldon Terrace, Chichester, South Shields, - is among 298 and 19 in the North East - which will change hands after final clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority.

The acquisition was first announced in July and will see McColl's the Co-op shops to its 1,000-strong convenience store estate.

The deal will also allow the Co-op to focus on its larger stores.

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The CMA said in October it was investigating the deal to examine whether it would result in "a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services".

Jonathan Miller, chief executive of McColl's, said: "This is a transformational deal, which substantially accelerates our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers.

"We have a long history and proven track record of successfully integrating convenience stores into our estate, and we expect these newly acquired stores to make a significant contribution to our future strategic plans."

McColl's recently unveiled its sixth year in a row of rising sales, posting growth of 1.9% over the year to November 27 thanks to expansion efforts.

But 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.

McColl's already has 1,001 convenience stores and 374 newsagents across the UK.