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McColl's stores in New Milton, Pennington, Ringwood, Hythe and Totton enter administration

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A MAJOR retailer with seven local stores, including three in New Milton, has entered administration, bosses have confirmed.

McColl's has been in discussions with potential lenders to shore up the business, which struggled badly during the pandemic due to supply chain issues, inflation and a heavy debt burden.

Alongside the New Milton branches, which includes the post office on Station Road, are sites in Pennington, Hythe and Totton, and Ringwood's Morrisons Daily.

McColl's in Pennington (picture: Google)
McColl's in Pennington (picture: Google)

But this afternoon (Friday) the company announced that after talks with key supplier Morrisons, it was "left with no choice" but to enter administration and find a buyer "as soon as possible".

The business has some 16,000 employees across the UK, the majority of whom are part-time, a spokesman said.

In a statement, a representative said: “Whilst the constructive discussions with the company's key wholesale supplier to find a solution with them to funding issues and create a stable platform going forward had made significant progress, the lenders made clear that they were not satisfied that such discussions would reach an outcome acceptable to them.

"In order to protect creditors, preserve the future of the business and to protect the interests of employees, the board was regrettably therefore left with no choice other than to place the company in administration, appointing PriceWaterhouseCoopers as administrators, in the expectation that they intend to implement a sale of the business to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible."

The group, which runs more than 1,100 convenience shops across England, Scotland and Wales – has requested that the listing of its ordinary shares be suspended with immediate effect.

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