The My Local team have performed a “minor miracle” to get stores open in the light of a last-minute disagreement with Morrisons that saw the shops almost completely stripped of stock on the eve of re-opening.

The original agreement with the former owners was for them to remove only Morrisons-branded items from stores prior to relaunch, but a disagreement over the value of the residual stock meant that branded goods were reclaimed by the multiple grocer as well. As a result, My Local was left with a shortfall equivalent to half a million cases of product over and above the initial order placed with main supplier Nisa for stores’ relaunch as My Local this week. While the deficit is being made up, other wholesalers as well as Nisa have been supplying the store chain.

My Local trading director Neil Turton paid tribute to the management and store teams who have “worked around the clock” to get the stores ready for opening. “Bearing in mind what happened last Friday, to get the vast majority of stores open on Tuesday was a minor miracle,” he told C-Store. “People throughout the business have been working enormously hard.

“It has put us behind where we wanted to be, but there have been some positives. For one thing the challenge has meant the store teams were really strongly motivated from day one and, secondly, it means we now have a completely clean stock file instead of inheriting historic errors that were in Morrisons’ system.

“It’s a frustrating way to start, but it’s only day three of a five-year journey.”