Nisa-Today's appears to be building bridges with members who became disgruntled during last year's contentious failed merger with Costcutter.

New non-executive chairman Edwin Booth and chief executive Neil Turton met last month to discuss the direction the buying group should take, and greater member involvement was top of the agenda.

"Looking to the future and the means of engaging members more closely in determining group objectives took up most of our time," Booth said.

The group has also launched a new feature in Consortium, its monthly magazine for members, which provides information on the activities and responsibilities of specific departments at its central office as well as their relevant contact details.

It has involved members further by asking retailers to work alongside its central distribution trading teams to produce promotional literature. However it denied that this spirit of co-operation was a reaction to the criticism faced in the wake of the collapse of the merger.

"This is simply Neil and Edwin's style," said a spokeswoman for Nisa-Today's, who denied overtures to the members were designed to outflank the Nisa Members Association. "Neil believes we already have a member group, they are the membership and Nisa-Today's is committed to engaging with all members," she added.

The NMA has said it will remain active despite having succeeded in its goal of blocking the Costcutter deal. Meanwhile high street off-licence operator Bargain Booze has left the buying group. "We left perfectly amicably," said Matthew Hughes, Bargain Booze's joint MD.

"There was no real benefit to us or to our franchisees. We never bought anything through them and we have a keen retail focus whereas theirs is much more wholesale-oriented so, culturally speaking, there was no obvious fit."