The Today's Group, the wholesale arm of Nisa-Today's, has announced volumes up 13.6% in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period the previous year.

"To be experiencing such strong trading figures given the current economic downturn is particularly impressive and we are very pleased to be in such a positive position," said Today's Group trading director Nick Barker.

"We finished last year in a very strong position, our best for five years, and this quarter's data is even more robust. We are delighted and confident that our next quarter will be as equally impressive."

The group said the strong performance was a result of more people shopping at convenience stores and local shops, which is where the majority of its goods are sold.

The group said its beer and wine sales were also growing, up 35.2% and 2.3% respectively. Cider ­volumes were also up by 4.6%. The grocery category was up 17.8%, impulse grew by 13.9%, and non-food increased 5.7%.

Rodney Hunt, the former managing director of the Today's Group, is to take over as chairman of the Today's Group Wholesale Council, which liaises with wholesale members.

He takes over from Manish Dhamecha, who is leaving to concentrate on his role as director of Dhamecha Foods.

Meanwhile, Poundworld has signed up as a retail member of Nisa-Today's. Its 70 stores will take ambient non-food products.