Nisa-Today's chief executive Neil Turton has categorically ruled out reviving the controversial merger with Costcutter, which collapsed last October.

Speaking to The Grocer at Nisa's annual show for independents and wholesalers, Turton said he was still a fan of the principles behind the merger, which was to have been funded by Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

However, there were no new merger plans and he now saw Nisa's New Era Trading Terms policy, introduced last year, as the best way to drive volume, he said.

The New Era Terms are designed to drive volumes by promising retailers better deals if they sign up to a stricter regime covering the products Nisa sources centrally. The idea is designed to make retailers less inclined to shop around at rival wholesalers.

"We are fighting hard to win over new members," said Turton. "But the best way to increase volume is right under our nose. We need to ensure more of our members buy more of the lines from Nisa that they are currently buying elsewhere."

The group's ambient distribution warehouse in Scunthorpe has a capacity of 1.8 million cases a week but is currently running at 1.2 million.

About 60% of the volume Nisa delivered to its retailers was now through the New Era Trading Terms, he said. Retailers operating under these terms had experienced an average sales uplift of 23% compared with 9% for those who were not.

This year Nisa would aim to improve its local sourcing offer, said Turton, who admitted it was currently a weakness.

"We have worked for so long on the central distribution side that we do not have the same reputation for sourcing locally that other groups may have."

Turton also said he and new chairman Edwin Booth were working hard to instil a more open culture. This week Booth wrote to all members explaining that he was open to listening to members' concerns.