Costcutter completed the migration of stores across to Palmer & Harvey this week, with both parties pledging to iron out problems currently being experienced by retailers.

Some retailers have reported delivery and availability issues and have claimed this is affecting sales.

Acknowledging the migration was a “major undertaking” that “has been a challenging time for some retailers”, P&H MD Martyn Ward said it had opened two facilities to cope with demand. They are a 30,000 sq ft chilled and frozen site in Bristol to serve the South West, and an 80,000 sq ft depot in Leeds for slow-moving stock.

“We will continue to remedy any other problems not solved by the opening of these facilities and to achieve the high service levels our customers have a right to expect,” he added.

”We would like to thank retailers for their support and patience while problems are resolved.”

The migration marks the end of a 27-year association for Costcutter with Nisa. Costcutter CEO Darcy Willson-Rymer described the move as “a key moment in its history” that would put Costcutter “in full control of all the elements that will allow it to give its retailers the best range, price, promotions and service”.

Every Costcutter and Kwiksave store had migrated over “with a few exceptions”, he said. But he warned there was still “a great deal of work” to do.

“We understand that some retailers in certain parts of the country are experiencing issues and we are prioritising those, working with P&H to apply both manpower and investment, to get them rectified as soon as possible,” he added.

“These plans are being driven hard and fast to enable us to remove the difficulties and get us to normal service levels within the next three to four weeks  – just as we did with the migration in Northern Ireland back in March.

”Much like our retailers, we look forward to them reaping the full benefits of our business being in the strongest shape that it has ever been in, and all of us here really do appreciate the support and patience that has been shown to us over this time. It will be worth it,” Willson-Rymer added.

Nisa said it was continuing to be contacted by retailers who, after experiencing problems with the Costcutter migration, wanted to join Nisa. Earlier this year, it said it was aiming to retain a quarter of Costcutter’s volume. It has so far achieved half of this.

Nisa CEO Neil Turton added the move had shown Nisa how important its own-label range Heritage was, with Nisa retailers with stores near a Costcutter reporting increased sales now the range is only available in Nisa stores. Heritage was relaunched last week with new packaging and products.

Nisa is planning to introduce marketing materials in the next few weeks to advertise that Heritage is now a Nisa exclusive.