Darwen 1

Source: Nisa

Karavadra started the venture with Nisa in the summer, with the opening of his first store in Millom, Cumbria

Nisa retailer Sanjay Karavadra has launched a new convenience store in Darwen, Lancashire, marking it his fourth site to open in seven months.

Starting his venture with the symbol group last summer, he has now completed the transformation of four former Co-op stores across the north of England to Nisa.

The first store launched in Millom, Cumbria in June, with the second opening in Crook, north Darlington in November. The third store launch happened in Grimsby in early December, before the Darwen-based store opened its doors last month.

The 41-year-old Leicestershire entrepreneur said he has plans to double his estate by the end of the year, with a further four stores currently under review.

“We have plans to keep growing our portfolio, but it is important that we get it right,” said Karavadra. “The aim is to cut and paste the Co-op stores in terms of the staff and how they run the shop. Then add in the more local points by changing the products according to the area so that the store suits the customers and meets their specific needs and what they like to buy.

“With each store launched we’ve learned something new, and the process is becoming smoother each time. We now need to ensure we have the right system in place so that going forward, with each purchase the transition is slick.”

In each of the new stores, the range still carries a strong presence of Co-op own brand, along with new products, services and a wide range of food and drinks to-go such as Costa Coffee and Tango Ice Blast.

“We have lots of ideas in our head, but we are still learning and will keep refining until we get it perfect,” he added. ”We have ambitions for the Darwen store to have a compelling food-to-go offer and an instore bakery.”