McColl’s Retail Group is to sell off 100 newsagent shops as part of its ongoing strategy to evolve into a convenience-led business.

The company currently operates 1,346 stores in a mixture of formats, and has identified the stores in question as “not being part of its long-term planning”.

In its most recent quarterly trading statement, sales at the group’s premium convenience and food and wine stores were down 0.4%, whereas its standard convenience and newsagents saw a decline of 4.6%.

The sale of the 100 newsagents is described as being earnings neutral for 2016, but will generate cash for further expansion into convenience.

Chief executive James Lancaster commented: “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”