Costcutter has lost one of its biggest members, just weeks after founder Colin Graves left the business.

J&J Wilson, which has 70 stores in holiday parks across the UK, has been a Costcutter member for the past 25 years, but this week defected to Nisa.

J&J Wilson MD Derrick Lloyd said although Graves’ shock departure last month had affected his decision “a little bit”, the main reason for the switch was because he wanted to remain within Nisa. The indie was a Nisa member for about 10 years before joining Costcutter in 1987. Costcutter is still deciding whether to extend its long-running distribution deal with Nisa beyond 2014.

“There’s no animosity between us and Costcutter,” Lloyd said. “But there’s still a shadow over what’s going to happen and we want to stay within Nisa. We’re a successful business and we feel that returning to Nisa provides us with the best opportunity to ensure that success continues.”

Nisa CEO Neil Turton added: “Derrick and his team join us at an exciting time in what I’m sure will prove to be a mutually beneficial partnership.”

J&J Wilson, which is 49th on The Grocer’s ranking of the UK’s Top 50 independent grocery retailers, was Costcutter’s second-biggest franchisee.

Costcutter CEO Nick Ivel said that although he was disappointed by the departure, he respected Lloyd’s decison.

“Costcutter enjoyed significant growth in recruitment over the past 12 months and following the opening of our first Kwiksave and new-look Costcutter stores, this is a very exciting time to be a member,” Ivel added.

Lloyd, meanwhile, plans to open and refurbish more stores. Trading had been boosted by the recent hot weather, he said. “We broke lots of records over the past weekend but it was pretty quiet up until then.”