Nisa has eyes on forecourt shops

Symbol sets out its stall for independent retailers

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THE Co-op’s decision to spend in excess of £140m acquiring Nisa represented a major shakeup of the independent retail landscape.

Sold to retailers with the promise of increased buying power and access to an enviable selection of own-label products, the deal has created a landscape “in which independent retailers can flourish,” said Nigel Gray, retail director at Nisa.

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“It brings enhanced buying capability,” Gray said, “allowing Nisa Partners to trade their businesses in the way they choose, backed by competitive prices and promotions with access to a deeper range.”

While the Co-op acquisition may have brought some pretty major changes to range and availability at Nisa, the fundamental offer at the symbol remains consistent.

Retailers who choose to join Nisa can operate under a choice of symbol fascias, Nisa Local, Nisa Extra or dual branded, or continue under their own independent fascia.

They can also take advantage of the symbol group’s ‘retail support package’, which involves a staff training facility, social media support, and a marketing package that incorporates leaflets, Nisa FM radio, and POS material.

Gray said: “We have worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to ensure we provide all the tools needed to compete against the ever-increasing competition in the convenience retail sector.

“Importantly, we don’t have any company owned stores, so don’t compete with our retail partners and don’t have restrictive loyalty levels that impact on margin and the ability to trade independently.”

Thanks to the acquisition, Nisa retailers will also now have access to a range of the Co-op’s own brand products, comprising a total of 13,000 SKUs.

For any forecourt retailers who may be reassessing the Nisa offer in light of the Co-op acquisition, format manager Janine Abbot said there’s plenty the symbol can offer — and she said suggested Nisa would be happy to help retailers bring their forecourt vision  to life.

“At Nisa we recognise the importance of working closely with retailers. Our format and development team work closely with every retailer to discuss ideas that work for them and make them a reality.” said Abbott.

“It is important to first establish the format and location that the forecourt trades within, as this will establish what the focal points will be.”

Abbott highlighted Nisa’s ‘Store of the Future 2 Evolution’ format as something of a feather in the symbol group’s cap, providing retailers with the opportunity to breath some new life into their forecourt while tailoring the site to their needs.

“At Nisa we feel it is important to let retailers bring their own personality to their store, whilst still retaining the look and feel of a Nisa ‘Store of the Future 2 Evolution’ format store,” she said.

• Nisa launched its Store of the Future 2 Evolution format in spring 2018. The Evolution format sees Nisa develop its Store of the Future 2 to include greater flexibility, offering retailers the option of improving their store in a more incremental ‘modular’ fashion.

The format has a focus on food to go, instore dining, quality coffee and an enhanced chilled proposition.