Morrisons plans to open ‘thousands’ of smaller Daily stores across the UK

The firm will re-brand old McColl’s stores, after saving the chain from administration, and open brand new mini-supermarkets

Morrisons is planning to open “thousands” of its smaller Daily stores across the UK.

The supermarket currently has 486 stores and is on track to open its 500th supermarket by 2023.

It now aims to open "not hundreds, but thousands" of Morrisons Daily branches by rebranding old McColl’s stores and by opening brand new mini-supermarkets across the UK.

The plan comes after the retailer tumbled down the list of the top supermarkets in the UK this week to fifth place.

What has Morrisons said?

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Morrisons wholesale director Paul Dobson said in the Grocery Gazette that the firm plans to open more of its convenience and forecourt sites.

He said: “Ultimately our ambition is to have store numbers in the thousands, not the hundreds, in the future and by adding more high-quality retailers, we will build those numbers.

“Across Great Britain, 35% of the population are now within a 10-minute drive from a Morrisons Daily, which we think is good progress since starting off in 2017.”

Convenience director Joseph Sutton said that will only help their wholesale operations, adding: “It’s going to create more investment in this channel of the business. It’s going to mean more collateral that our partners can use, like planograms, access to EPoS systems, new supply chain facilities, or bigger buying of concessions, as well as more format development. We’re very excited, and we’re so lucky to have bought the McColl’s business, but there’s lots of hard work ahead of us.”

When did Morrisons buy McColls?

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Morrisons bought convenience store chain McColl’s in May for £190.1million - saving the firm from administration.

McColl’s has more than 1,100 outlets across England, Scotland and Wales, and employs around 16,000 staff, or roughly 6,000 full-time.

The supermarket won against Asda owner EG Group to rescue the convenience chain, taking it out of pre-pack administration on Monday 9 May.

The supermarket chain already runs hundreds of McColl’s stores, which are branded as Morrisons Daily - and will protect the pensions of all McColl’s workers. It is also a major supplier to McColl’s, and provides products under the Safeway brand.

More than 200 McColl stores had been converted to Morrison’s Daily stores by July of this year, with the retailer aiming to hit 450 by November.

Morrisons also runs Martin’s newsagents, and has Post Office counters in a third of its 1,100 branches.

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Altogether the firm has 755 McColl’s stores - 270 called Morrisons Daily, 116 Martin’s and eight called RS McColl, with the latter all in Scotland.