LONDON—British grocery chain Morrisons is closing 132 of its McColl’s convenience stores, reports BBC. Morrisons plans to convert the majority of the McColl’s stores to Morrisons Daily shops.
The supermarket purchased the chain of c-stores in May, and the deal was just cleared last month. There are currently 1,164 McColl's stores, with 286 operating under the Morrisons Daily brand.
"We very much regret the proposed closure of 132 loss-making stores, but it is, very sadly, an important step towards the regeneration of the business,” Joseph Sutton, the director of Morrisons wholesale, told BBC.
Morrisons' CEO David Potts told BBC that after the acquisition closed, the retailer is "now able to begin the urgent journey to transform McColl's into a viable, well-invested and growing operation.” Potts also said that after the majority of the stores become Morrisons Daily shops, there will be more than 1,000 Morrison Daily stores within two years.
Most stores will be closed "in an orderly fashion" over the rest of this year, according to Morrisons. Fifty-five of the stores have a postal counter, and the company said those stores would not close until after Christmas “to allow the Post Office additional time to make alternative arrangements,” said Morrisons.
McColl’s has annual turnover of about 1.2 billion pounds ($1.4 billion), representing about 0.8% of the U.K. grocery market.
The closing stores employed 1,300 people, and those workers will be offered jobs at nearby McColl’s stores.