Source: Bestway

He and his family joined Nisa in 2014 at the height of the Palmer & Harvey supply challenge period

High-profile independent retailer Paul Cheema is returning to Costcutter after almost a decade with Nisa.

Cheema, who runs two stores in Coventry with his family, joined Nisa in 2014 at the height of the Palmer & Harvey supply challenge period. This followed over 20 years with Costcutter, which was the business’s first supply partner.

“When we made the change to Nisa, we had some serious reservations around leaving the team at Costcutter, who had been by our side for 20 years, but felt we didn’t have a choice at the time,” said Cheema. “When we saw that Costcutter had joined the Bestway family, we knew it was the right time to re-join the brand that had been pivotal in our road to success.”

The two stores, Malcolm’s on Elm Tree Avenue and Malcolm’s Texaco forecourt in Tile Hill, moved into the Bestway supply chain this week, with store developments underway to become the co-branded Costcutter and Bargain Booze hybrid stores.

The refit of the Elm Tree Avenue will also have a new kitchen concept with a ramped-up food-to-go offer, including the launch of additional new ranges that ”we know consumers are looking for,” said Bestway Retail business development director Jamie Davidson.

A key selling point for moving back to the Bestway-owned symbol group was access to the wide range of products available via Bargain Booze, Costcutter and the Co-op, and being able to maximise availability, the family said.

“We’re delighted that Malcolm’s family stores are returning to us at Costcutter and we’re very aware that this decision has not been taken lightly,” said Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez.

“Together, we have been working closely to create the convenience model of the future that offers opportunity and value to both the retailer and the consumer. This is about delivering the right range, at the right price, in order to deliver the very best value to the stores’ customers.”

Pervez explained Bestway had undertaken research to ensure the stores’ merchandising and promotions were in line with each site’s “bespoke demographics”.

“It means that the end shopper gets something unique and compelling that feels more personal to them,” he added.

The move comes as Bestway recently announced it planned to open 25 stores under the dual-branded fascia by the end of next year, then followed by a target of 75 stores per annum.

“We are very much on track and on target,” said Pervez. “The number of stores is not likely to change but what may evolve are different versions of the format which makes our partnerships with our retailers even more exciting and successful.”

The wholesaler told The Grocer it was continuing to target retailers from outside the estate, alongside existing Costcutter retailers. 

“Retailers from other groups who are planning to redevelop their own stores are enquiring about this concept, as it is positioned to be able to compete against all convenience operators,” said Pervez.

”Therefore, if a significant investment is being made to modernise, then a compelling shopper offer has to be delivered to support business growth and refit payback.”