Convenience wins

Shoppers switching to corner shops boosts CJ Lang

Colin McLean: retail landscape changing (pic: CJ Lang)

Scottish SPAR wholesaler and distributor CJ Lang said customers switching to convenience stores in the early days of the pandemic helped it build sales in the final weeks of its financial year.

The Dundee-based firm, which operates or owns more than 300 Spar stores across Scotland, said demand increased in the six weeks leading to 30 April.

It said the uplift was at least part because more people used smaller neighbourhood stores to avoid long queues at supermarkets.

Turnover over the year to the end of April rose by 3.4%, to £194.2m while underlying pre-tax profits doubled to £1.5m.

Chief executive Colin McLean said: “The onset of Covid-19 at the end of the last financial year, and the subsequent months that followed, have seen the retail landscape completely change.”


He added that the business had been growing before the onset of Covid-19, in part due to its food-to-go offer and the development of its independent retailer customer base.

“Whilst the retail landscape is ever changing we continue to follow our long-term strategic path, driving our back to basics programme, balanced with initiatives to improve our offer and attract more independent retailers to SPAR Scotland.”

The family business, which was founded in 1919, employs about 2,000 staff.

One Comment to Shoppers switching to corner shops boosts CJ Lang

  1. Stopped using my Spar some months ago. Aisles too narrow. Too many people inside. Customers removing masks from nose once inside. Unclear how to queue at tills. One woman was a delight but part-time, irregular hours so couldn’t be sure she would be there.

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