MSP receives assurance over sale of Angus Co-op stores

Friockheim Co-Op
Friockheim Co-Op

Three Co-op food stores in Angus are to be sold to McColl’s Retail Group plc, it was announced late last week.

The sale, which includes the Friockheim store and the Abbeygate and Millgate stores in Arbroath, is part of a new strategy by Co-0p.

Steve Murrells, CEO of Co-op Food, said the “announcement is completely in line with our strategy,” adding the stores “did not allow us to provide a sufficiently compelling own-brand offer for our members going forwards”. A total of 298 stores are being sold and Mr Murrells added: “I’m delighted that all 3808 colleagues will transfer to McColl’s on the same terms and conditions.”

Angus South MSP Graeme Dey welcomed an assurance he received from McColl’s over the future of the convenience stores. He contacted the new owners seeking information as to how they see the future of the premises. He was advised that stores will be operating along similar lines once rebranded, probably early next year, .

Mr Dey said: “With Abbeygate being the only large scale convenience store on or immediately adjacent to the High Street, Millgate serving a concentrated area of the town and Friockheim being the only such facility in the village, I wanted to be re-assured that the takeover would not lead to detrimental changes to provision. According to McColl’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Thomas, given the demographics and offer of their 933 existing convenience stores these three are an ideal fit.”

The deal is subject to a Competitions Mergers and Acquisitions review hence the expectation that it will be early 2017 before the migration process.