McColl's blames supply disruption as profits tank

PUBLISHED: 08:58 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 18 February 2019

McColl's on Colman Road in Norwich. Photo: Google Streetview

McColl's on Colman Road in Norwich. Photo: Google Streetview

Google Streetview

One of East Anglia's most prolific convenience store retailers, McColl's, has reported a sharp drop in profits.

The East of England based company has blamed the collapse of groceries wholesaler Palmer & Harvey for the “challenging” year for the group.

The Brentwood-based group said the loss of supply to 700 of its stores by the administration of Palmer & Harvey in November 2017 “created major disruption” and forced it to accelerate its new supply deal with Morrisons.

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The chain has in excess of 30 stores in Norfolk, including in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and across north Norfolk.

It also has a number of stores in Suffolk and Essex, including Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.

“Moving to a new wholesale supply partner, at a much faster pace than anticipated, created its own challenges and severely disrupted our plans for the launch of Safeway,” the company said.

For the financial year ended November 25, pre-tax profit declined to £7.9m from £18.4m the year earlier, while like-for-like sales fell 1.4%.

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Total revenue, however, increased 8.1% to £1.24bn, thanks to the acquisition of nearly 300 convenience stores in 2017.

Like-for-like sales have recovered in the new year and were up 1.2% in the 11 weeks ended February 10. Total sales also increased 0.4%.

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