James Convenience sales plummet by a quarter

Grocery chain James Convenience Retail (JCR) has seen sales slashed by 26 per cent to £32 million for the year ending March 2021.

The group, which operates 49 stores across Yorkshire and the Midlands, also watched pre-tax profits drop 23 per cent to £2.2 million.

“Covid hit us particularly hard as a business because of our heavy reliance on transient and city centre sites,” owner Jonathan James told The Grocer.

JCR closed 12 shops during the period thanks to the drop in business, all of which have been reopened.

READ MORE: Delivery disruption to 1500 convenience stores as Booker drivers strike intensifies

However, James claimed trading at its bus station stores had returned to up to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

According to its Companies House report, the business claimed to have experienced “considerable sales growth” as customers shopped locally during the pandemic.

It noted year-on-year growth was seen across alcohol and groceries as offices and hospitality venues were put in lockdown.

JCR also revealed that wholesaler Bestway will distribute grocery, alcohol and tobacco to its stores after a new long-term supply deal.

Nisa is said to be continuing to supply fresh and chilled goods.

“The balance sheet is looking healthy now. Any business that can get through what we’ve all been through is doing well,” James said.

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