Nisa has laid out ambitions plans to open 150 Loco stores within the next 12 months.

The first two stores under the brand new fascia officially opened last week in Newcastle, and the buying group said it was confident the fascia could hit 150 stores within a year.

“We’re developing 10 stores over the next few months in London, Manchester, Preston and Leeds,” said Nisa retail development director Raj Krishan. “We’ve got something we think will work here because it fits with the infrastructure of Nisa and opens doors to smaller retailers. I am very confident we can get to 150 between now and next March.”

The fascia, announced last October, has been developed to allow smaller c-stores - typically around 1,000 sq ft - the opportunity to be part of a symbol group as well as acting as an alternative fascia option for stores in close proximity to an existing Nisa branded store.

The stores typically require less investment than a Nisa branded store, making it a lower cost option. However, indies operating under the fascia still receive the same support as Nisa members, and the stores have their own uniforms, in-store PoS and imagery.

Nisa had already received a lot of interest from retailers, Krishan added. “Over the next 12 months I want to see Loco develop into the alternative fascia in our business,” he said. “It’s going to be all about making sure we develop and refine the package for retailers. There are 20,000 unaffiliated independents out there, so there is clear blue sky to aim for.”

The two stores opened last week were trading well. Ranges had been targeted to the local population. One of the stores, in Gosforth, had a large selection of locally sourced products, while the Sandyford store had a wide range of value products.