Jobs saved with struggling chain of Milton Keynes convenience stores to be taken over by supermarket giant

Five popular convenience stores in MK have been saved from closure by a major supermarket.

By Sally Murrer
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 12:02 pm

McColl's went into administration last week, putting 16,000 jobs at risk nationally.

Now it has been announced that Morrisons supermarket chain will take them over and the jobs will be saved.

There are five McColls stores in the Milton Keynes area – in Great Holm, Olney, Stony Stratford High Street and Whaddon Way, Queensway and Market Place in Bletchley.

McColls in Bletchley

The future of the stores was thrown into jeopardy on Friday (9 May), when McColl’s announced it had reached an agreement with administrators.

Since then, Morrisons which had an existing partnership with McColl’s, has agreed to take on all 16,000 people employed.

After failing to agree a deal before McColl’s entered administration, reports emerged suggesting EG Group, the Asda co-owners, was close to a takeover.

Ultimately, Morrisons reached an agreement with McColl’s after agreeing to pay off its £170 million debts and existing pension schemes.

Morrisons will take over McColls stores

On Monday (9 May), McColl’s was put into administration by PWC, but then immediately sold on to Morrisons.

Morrisons' chief executive David Potts, said: "Although we are disappointed that the business was put into administration, we believe this is a good outcome for McColl's and all its stakeholders.

"This transaction offers stability and continuity for the McColl's business and, in particular, a better outcome for its colleagues and pensioners."

To secure the deal Morrisons had to match the offer from the EG Group to clear McColl’s debts and protect all stores and jobs.

Morrisons already works in partnership with McColl’s, many of the former’s shops have been converted into Morrisons Daily stores.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) wants to speak with the supermarket giants to discuss McColl’s staffs’ futures.

Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness said: “It is great news ..We are now seeking urgent discussions with Morrisons to help secure the future for the staff.

She added: “McColl’s was a non-unionised business, which meant their staff had no real voice in the future of the business.

"Usdaw has a long-standing and productive relationship with Morrisons and we will be looking to extend trade union representation to all staff in McColl’s.”