Travellers relying on Greater Manchester’s public transport network have been told they will be unable to top up their card balance at McColl’s stores. It comes after the convivence store chain, with over one thousand stores across the country, announced it would collapse into administration.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) customers are now no longer able to top up their ‘getmethere’ cards or purchase any Metrolink tickets at McColl’s convenience and Morrisons Daily stores following the announcement, which has meant the PayPoint services have been suspended at the stores.
TfGM made the announcement on Friday (May 6) confirming that customers hoping to use their cards for travel on buses and trams will need to find alternative PayPoint outlets to top up their balance until further notice as a result of the ‘developing situation’.
McColls held talks with its lenders on Friday morning (May 6) in the hope they could extend their loan agreements, with 1,100 shops and 16,000 workers at risk. It’s believed the Asda-owning billionaire Issa brothers are attempting to beat supermarket rival Morrisons to buy the struggling retailer, which operates 53 stores in Greater Manchester – full list here.
Earlier on Friday, Morrisons tabled a rescue deal which would also take on the business as a going concern, absorb its debts of over £100 million and take responsibility for the company’s pension scheme. The two businesses are major partners, with McColl’s operating hundreds of convenience shops under the Morrisons Daily brand.
McColl’s has struggled financially in recent years after witnessing soaring costs due to supply chain disruption, inflation and its large debt burden. On Thursday evening, McColl’s had said it was in talks over “potential financing solutions” to resolve its funding issues.
The full update on the TfGM website stated: “As a result of the developing situation at the McColl’s Retail Group, PayPoint services have been suspended with immediate effect at their outlets. This includes all McColl’s convenience stores and Morrisons Daily outlets.
“TfGM customers will be unable to top up their getmethere card for travel on bus and tram or to purchase Metrolink tickets at these locations until further notice. This does not affect any other outlet displaying the PayPoint sign.”