McColl’s group to come to market

Fast-growing multiple c-store chain McColl’s plans to float on the London Stock Exchange this month.

CONVENIENCE store and newsagent chain McColl’s Retail Group is to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The company aims to complete an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of this month.
McColl’s is a neighbourhood retailer with 1,276 outlets across the UK.
The group’s divides its c-stores into four distinct types – premium convenience stores, standard convenience stores, food and wine stores and newsagents.
As the IPO was announced late last month the group operated 714 McColl’s, which it said made it the second largest multiple chain of convenience stores in the UK. It also had 562 newsagents.
It has been expanding its chain of c-stores, through conversion of some of its newsagent outlets and by acquisition of other stores, for some time. And it argues that its c-store expansion policy will take advantage of the changing nature of UK food and drink retailing saying the convenience sector is forecast to grow from £35.6bn in 2013 to £46.2 bn in 2018 and that underlying demographic changes will support continuing growth of c-stores.
The group currently operates 423 post offices and intends to take part in the Post Office’s modernisation programme by converting its existing post office counters.
Last year the firm rebranded as McColl’s took its c-store chain beyond 700 stores and agreed new supply arrangements with Nisa for its larger stores.
Recently it reported “positive Christmas trading” with total sales up 2.6% and like-for-like sales up 1.5% for the six-week period to 5 January 2014.