News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Smile Please – You’re Now McColl

Residents will have been surprised this week when popping into their local Smile store on Westbury on Trym High Street to find it re-branded as a McColl’s.

The change is the result of a buy-out of the local Smile chain from Somerset-based TA Symmonds Company, who sold their retail business in September “for an undisclosed sum”.

The new owners – Martin McColl Ltd – were formerly known as TM Retail. Under that name, they snapped up 181 Dillon’s newsagents from Tesco (bet you didn’t know that) and have been actively consolidating their position as the UK’s largest chain of newsagents, with over 1,300 stores in their current portfolio.

Of more immediate interest to Trym Tales, however, will be discovering whether the new management and staff at McColl’s will continue the Smile tradition of playing American thrash indie at high volume inside the store during opening hours. My trips for milk and newspapers were always made more interesting by the high-energy sounds of Smashing Pumpkins late on a Tuesday night.

Watch this space for further developments.

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