The McColls Retail Group is a newsagent operator and convenience store with branches all around the UK. Many branches are also functioning as post offices, and this makes the brand the biggest post office operator in the country. With over 1000 locations from the north of Scotland down to the south coast, this retailer is primarily found in local communities, serving the needs of those who are looking for a local place to buy items such as newspapers, milk, bread, eggs, confectionary, cigarettes, alcohol, crisps and other daily essentials. You can also play the lottery and buy scratch cards in most McColls locations. Behind the counter there is usually basic medicine such as cough syrups.
There are currently around 1200 McColls convenience stores around the UK, with all sites having been carefully chosen for their location in the close vicinity of residential communities; they actively seek to integrate themselves in these communities and look to establish a presence where there is a need for local shopping. Opening hours of McColls are very long, opening at 6am and closing at 10 pm. Many McColls branches are open 7 days a week to meet the needs of local people. As this retailer operates a flexible operation model, the closing and opening hours of McColls on bank holidays and public holidays like Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will vary to meet local regulations. Check our branch locator to see if there’s a McColls open near you today.
McColls have a product range which is focused on the convenience needs of local communities. The selection of products include a wide range of essential groceries and foods including fresh vegetables and fruit and ready meals - with much of the produce being locally sourced where possible. There is also a food-to-go section as well as many household products and newsagency items. Many stores also cater for a range of customer needs, offering Amazon lockers, Collect+ points, Post Office services, home news delivery, bill payment services, national lottery terminals and cash machines.
The very first branch of McColls was opened in 1901 in Scotland by a famous footballer called Robert Smyth McColl and his brother, Tom. Even today, Scottish branches still bear his name. Originally, the brand was primarily focused on vending services, and in the 1970s it was leading the way in this sector, but in the 1990s the brand took a new direction after taking over the well-known Forbuoys newsagent chain. In 1994, the chain moved into convenience food retail and continued to progress from strength to strength with its first ever food-based stores being established in local communities.
In 1998, the brand then acquired the Martin’s chain of newsagents. When this name was combined with Forbuoys, the result was that the brand became the biggest national neighbourhood retailer. In the early 2000s, the brand sold off its vending machine operations to focus entirely on neighbourhood convenience stores and in 2016, the chain finally opened its 1000th store in the UK. A year later, and the retailer acquired over 200 Co-Op stores while also signing a supply deal with the famous Morrisons brand. Today, there are more than 1200 stores on high streets and in local communities across the length and breadth of the country, with Safeway products now on sale as part of the latest transition to Morrisons supply.
The company continues to thrive and stores can be seen in local communities everywhere. Their strength is in the integration with local communities, sourcing products from local suppliers and employing local staff. They are also able to respond to local needs with their opening hours due to this integration. They see themselves as an organisation that “pays back” to their community.