Co-op convenience store sell-off to McColl’s approved

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Co-op Group

Co-op’s sale of 298 of its food stores to convenience chain McColl’s has been approved by the competition regulator.

McColl’s said the final clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority would “substantially accelerate” its growth strategy.

“This is a transformational deal,” said McColl’s boss Jonathan Miller.

McColl’s said it would begin to integrate the Co-op stores into its network by the end of January, with all conversions completed by August.

The purchase means McColl’s will now have around 1,300 convenience stores across the UK.

In July, the Co-op said it had decided to sell the stores because they were too small to stock a full range of its own-label goods, an area it was trying to increase.

The stores being sold have an average size of 1,700 sq ft, well below the Co-op’s ideal sized store of between 3,000 and 3,500 sq ft.

McColl’s Mr Miller said the firm was “delighted” that the deal had got the go-ahead.

“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,” he added.

by BBC Economy