Retailer McColl’s to offload 100 newsagents

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McColl’s Retail Group has announced plans to sell 100 of its less profitable newsagents as the retailer continues its switch to convenience stores.

As the firm is looking to offload the stores to independent retailers, it is not yet clear whether any jobs will be at risk.

The group said the assets would be sold for no less than their asset value and their closure is expected to be earnings neutral in 2016.

It added that it would “continue to run profitable newsagents and convert these to convenience format where appropriate”.

McColl’s chief executive James Lancaster claimed the 100 stores, which make up almost 8% of its portfolio, are no longer part of the retailer’s long-term strategy, adding that the firm would use funds raised to invest in profitable convenience stores.

“We have continued to make good progress on enhancing our offering and capturing growth in the convenience market.

“As we continue to grow our convenience store estate we constantly review our wider store portfolio, and from this we have identified 100 newsagents which no longer align to our strategic objectives.

“The sale of these stores will generate funds which will allow us to invest further in profitable convenience stores.”

The sale will be handled by property specialists Christie + Co.