Around 1,300 McColl’s workers have been put at risk of redundancy as part of proposals from Morrisons to shut 132 loss-making stores at the convenience chain it bought earlier this year.
The supermarket giant rescued McColl’s earlier this year in a £190m deal when it was on the brink of collapse.
Bradford-based Morrisons, which is owned by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, announced on May 9 that it had acquired all of McColl’s 1,160 stores, which include 270 Morrisons Daily format stores, saving 16,000 jobs. It beat a rival bid by the billionaire Issa brothers’ EG Group.
On Tuesday, Morrisons unveiled plans to overhaul the convenience retailer after competition regulators said last week that they were set to clear the takeover.
Morrisons said it expects some McColl’s stores to return to profitability as part of its turnaround plans but highlighted that there are “132 stores where there is no realistic prospect of achieving a breakeven position in the medium term”.
Joseph Sutton, Morrisons convenience, online and wholesale director, said: “We have a great deal of work to do but there’s no question that McColl’s is a business with strong potential.
“I’m confident that the combination of McColl’s conveniently located stores and great colleagues together with Morrisons scale, brand, systems and fresh food expertise will lead to a transformation of the business.
“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.
“I am confident that McColl’s can, in the Morrisons family, once again become a growing, thriving and vibrant convenience business serving local communities across the UK.”