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Morrions pledge to take My Local employees following administration talks

Published:  23 June, 2016

My Local stores are on the verge of folding just nine months after 140 stores were sold to new chief executive Mike Green.

Uncertainty surrounds the future of My Local and its 1,658 employees after union leaders announced that steps have been taken to place the former c-store off-shoot of Morrisons into administration.

Yesterday, Morrisons put its head above the parapet and pledged to take back any staff which were previously working for My Local when it was owned by Morrisons - and said it will do its best to accommodate more recent additions to the workforce.

It is not currently known if this was part of the original deal, as Morrisons still has several ties to the My Local brand, including obligations to see out the remainder of £20m worth of leases.

Morrisons was a latecomer to the c-store phenomenon, with many believing that they had missed the boat.

Once they did climb aboard in 2011, they traded for four years before selling in mid-2015 after posting a 47% drop in half-year profits.

"The small format [of convenience retail] is a whole different set up. Part of problem was that My Local was late to the game and they didn't develop enough of a brand identity. With the other multiples which have diversified, customers have the reassurance of Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local. When customers go into Sainsbury's, they trust the Taste the Difference Prosecco. Where's the consumer trust in My Local?" says Angel Mount, consultant and former and buyer at Sommerfield.



There were hopes that the new owners would be able to reverse My Local's fortunes, and in a statement released yesterday, Usdaw national officer Joanne McGuinness, said My Local staff were "devastated" by the news.

"Having been sold by Morrisons last year, there was a mood of optimism that the new owners could turn around the business. We are talking with the company in a bid to save jobs and get the best deal for staff. In the meantime Usdaw is providing the support, advice and representation they need at this unsettling time," she said.

Following the sale of My Local in 2015, Morrisons then went on to turn things around in their core business later on in the year, winning the wine supermarket of the year at the IWC 2015 and transforming sales over the Christmas period.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "We are saddened and disappointed to learn that My Local is about to enter administration. We want to help our former colleagues who now work for My Local. We can therefore confirm that if no buyer is found, and stores close, we will welcome our former colleagues back to a job at Morrisons."