EXCLUSIVE: Nisa to prioritise wholesale in major new expansion strategy

The symbol group's boss Peter Batt revealed the strategy at a wholesale conference on 8 February

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Nisa has revealed a new growth strategy, focusing on wholesale through rapid delivery firms, major events and festivals, export, holiday parks and forecourts for its expansion.

The strategy was announced by the wholesaler’s managing director Peter Batt at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) supplier business lunch on 8 February. BetterRetailing understands that attendees, which consisted of suppliers and wholesalers, were told that the future of Nisa was in its wholesale business.

This strategy included being a major supplier to major festivals and events, as well as the Co-op Live Arena which is due to open in Manchester later in 2023.

Batt also stressed the importance of expanding Nisa’s presence in the rapid home delivery market. Slides of the presentation at the FWD conference, seen by betterRetailing, said: “Nisa must ensure it is relevant and grow alongside this opportunity. A further platform to grow Co-op own label and reach a younger audience.”

Co-op products were made available through rapid delivery company Getir last year as part of a trial. BetterRetailing analysis found that more than 90% of products on the platform were cheaper than Nisa stores on RRP.

However, the investment into the wholesale business could come at the expense of Nisa’s symbol group recruitment. BetterRetailing understands that Batt had described his predecessors’s strategy on recruiting retailers as inefficient.

Despite this, the presentation stated that the wholesale arm can supply “every conceivable format for both wholesale and retail,” as well as act as a “lead for holiday parks and growing forecourts.”

Similarly, the slides highlighted additional opportunities for suppliers partnering with Nisa through wholesale. They referenced “promotions, shorted dated clearance [and] ad-hoc opportunities”, alongside direct trade with “no grey/secondary wholesale volume.” It also made references to the firm acting as a “consolidator for independent cash and carry business.”

Batt also suggested that additional growth could be gained through export.

Asked by betterRetailing to comment on the strategy after the event, Batt said: “I had the pleasure of speaking at the FWD supplier business lunch and was keen to highlight that Nisa is more than just a symbol brand.

“There are several ways in which we can engage our retailers and expand our reach through wholesale and it’s positive that a number of our supplier partners have already been in touch to see how we can work more closely.

“I’ve been clear since stepping into role that our Nisa customers are at the heart of the decisions we’re making, and we’re committed to growing our brand and offer, adding value to both retailers and their shoppers. We’ve already announced ways in which we’re making this happen and there is more to come.

“Our wholesale operation provides an environment in which independent retailers can trade their stores in the way they choose, and the many wholesale investment initiatives we’re putting in place will better support our retailers. With the enhanced buying capability of the Co-op, retailers get access to competitive prices, promotions and the strongest range of quality own brand products.”

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