RS McColl

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Mc Colls
Founded1901; 119 years ago (1901)

McColls or "Martins" is a Scottish newsagent company named after Robert Smyth McColl, who was a professional footballer. It was founded in 1901 by McColl and his brother Tom.[1]

RS McColl is a trading name of McColls Retail Group, It has been a prominent Scottish confectioner and newsagent and has been owned in the past by Cadburys and the Southland Corporation of America (7-Eleven).

Business background and history[edit]

McColls shop in York
McColls shop in Larkhall, Bath

In November 1998, RS McColl became part of TM Retail when Forbuoys (a subsidiary of TM Retail) acquired Martin Retail Group, creating Great Britain's largest chain of newsagents. In addition to RS McColl, TM Retail's former trading names include; Forbuoys, Martin's, Dillons (purchased from One Stop Stores Ltd following the takeover by Tesco of parent company T&S Stores),[2] McColls and More.

In 2006, TM Retail was renamed Martin McColl Limited,[3] after a management buyout. The various stores were then rebranded variously as Martin's (news and variety stores) or McColl's (convenience stores). The only exceptions were the Scottish stores where the RS McColl name was retained. With this re branding, all other names the company operates under were removed, these included Martins the Newsagents, More, Forbuoys and Dillons.

From 2009 to 2010, Martin McColl Limited underwent a multi million pound EPOS refit within their stores, replacing their existing EPOS system with a new multi screen touch screen system. It was hoped this would speed up the transaction process by incorporating Credit/Debit card systems within the EPOS. The multi screen system allows advertising POS to be electronically displayed to customers during the time that they are at the till. By 2011, expansion for the new system had been developed, with the addition of built in PayPoint terminals known as PPOD

During 2012 to 2013, a barcode system was implemented to scan lottery tickets through the till making transactions more accurate and reducing the chances of human error. Martin McColl began another rebrand making the stores more appealing to customers and changed their POS format to go with the new brand. Martin McColl worked hard to give better deals to the customer and ensure the customer had a good experience through better deals and better communication with staff and customers.[4]

In March 2013, Martin McColl's implemented a company wide change in the colouring of SEL's and POS, opting for 'ivory' SEL strips and a mixture of block coloured red and white POS material.

In August 2013, the group changed its name from Martin McColl Retail Group to McColls Retail Group.

Covid-19 pandemic[edit]

In February 2020, McColl's has announced intentions to close down 330 stores over the next three or four years while it aims or concentrate its consumer retail business operations.[5] McColl's is to change the attention from newsagents to bigger grocery stores after writing down the valuation of its company has brought the chain to a loss, with its dividend suspended as well.[6]


  1. ^ "Robert S. McColl - An unofficial Queen's Park FC Website" Archived 14 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed May 2011.
  2. ^ Dillons Stores Ltd sold to TM Retail Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ TM Retail rebranded Archived 17 September 2012 at
  4. ^ Martin McColl in PayPoint roll-out
  5. ^ "McColl's to close over 300 stores". Retail Gazette. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  6. ^ "McColl's shifts focus to convenience stores as dividend is axed". Insider. 26 February 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.

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