The co-branding concept has already made its debut as part of the launch of the Heads format by Anglian Convenience Stores, which joined Nisa-Today’s after quitting Budgens Local (The Grocer, April 16, p9).
However, The Grocer has discovered that some of Nisa’s top members were already debating the concept before Anglian joined the group.
South west retailer David Cooper will be the next to unveil a co-branded fascia. And as many as 30 members could sign up to the concept over the next 12 to 18 months.
Cooper owns four stores, two of which are part of the Nisa symbol group, and two larger stores in Wincanton and Westbury trading as Coopers Country Market.
His 15,000 sq ft store in Westbury, Wilts, is undergoing a refit and will be the first to carry the new co-branded fascia when it is launched in August.
John Heagney, Nisa-Today’s commercial director for retail store development, said: “The issue of co-branding was raised at a meeting of larger members last October and the reaction was positive - even from those we thought would not be interested.”
He added: “It took longer than we thought to get the ball rolling as we wanted to get it right from the start. But lots of members are interested and we will treat each one as a bespoke job. It’s a true partnership.”
Nisa has traditionally been home to many larger independents who typically trade under their own brands.
The co-branding initiative is important because it allows these members to retain their identities - which have usually been built up over many years - while extending the Nisa-Today’s brand and further strengthening the relationship it has with key members through new trading agreements.
Neil Turton, managing director of commercial services, described the initiative as a big move for the group, saying it was part of efforts to build up the “front end” of Nisa-Today’s business to complement its supply chain expertise. “Lots of retailers are interested in moving into co-branding and that protects our retail business in quite a clever way.”
Meanwhile, Sugro has dealt a blow to Nisa-Today’s by announcing it is to leave the group in the new year after 13 years of membership. Rodney Hunt, MD of the Today's Group, said Sugro’s departure would have no impact on the group's buying terms as it represented a small part of the Today's Group's turnover.
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