A takeover by supermarket giant Morrisons has forced over a thousand shops in the UK to stop selling alcohol. The sale of lottery tickets has also been affected.
It is understood that the store cannot sell these items due to licensing issues affecting all stores as a result of the takeover by Morrison’s. Customer notices were erected inside the Morrison’s store on London Road in Leigh-on-Sea, which is run by McColl’s.
The notice reads: “Unfortunately we are required by law to temporarily suspend all alcohol sales. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. We look forward to serving you as soon as we can.”
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Signs erected on the lotto tickets also read: “Lotto services are currently unavailable. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”
Morrisons has confirmed the suspension is affecting all stores but it is unable to confirm when the issue will be resolved. It has assured it is working on getting the problem addressed as quickly as possible.
A spokesperson from Morrison’s, who is taking over McColl’s stores told DevonLive: “With regard to the sale of alcohol, it is something impacting all stores and we are working at pace to apply for all the correct licenses.”
The group runs approximately 1,100 convenience stores and newsagents across Britain, some 200 of which have been converted to Morrisons Daily stores, like the store on London Road in Leigh-on-Sea, after a partnership with the supermarket.
McColl’s struggled badly during the pandemic due to supply chain issues, inflation, and a heavy debt burden. If it goes bust, it will make another retailer casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic and changing shopping habits, after the demise of Debenhams and Arcadia Group.