Having extended its Booze Buster format to 30 sites, Martin McColl trading director Tony Start revealed to Convenience Store that progress had also been made on a 'news and booze' format for its larger CTNs following a successful trial at its Nottingham store.
Speaking at the group's first ever managers' trade show, Start said: "The Booze Buster results are very promising and, subject to a review, 200 stores will be converted this year."
Five news and booze format stores are now up and running, according to Start. "The concept gives some of our larger CTNs with a high footfall the opportunity to bring in wines and spirits," he said. "There will now be a gradual rollout of the concept with the stores it suits."
Group chiefs also revealed a tie-in with Somerfield to trial a selection of fresh and chilled products, and a major internal re-branding project.
Somerfield is supplying 200 own label products to five McColl's c-stores in the Midlands. Products such as yogurts, pies and ready meals are picked from its Tewkesbury depot and distributed by Palmer & Harvey.
A similar trial with Nisa-Today's is also ongoing, and a successful fresh and chilled solution could be rolled out to the entire McColl's estate.
Start added that the group's link with Cuisine de France at a number of stores was running ahead of schedule. "The bakery deal is going very well. We now have more than 100 stores with bakeries and we'll install another 100 by August.
"Our internal rebranding is another huge project. It will be the same concept as the external fascia with the aim being to get all our stores looking the same with our key supplier brands on banners in the store."
The group is in discussion with providers about new epos technology, and plans to put a new offering of confectionery, snacks and news at the till.