Costcutter is looking to focus on rebuilding the trust of retailers, following an extremely difficult year, said chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer at an event in Peterborough this week. 

This year, the symbol group lost 424 stores and its wholesale partner, Palmer & Harvey. But Mr Willson-Rymer said it would rebuild trust by winning new business and rolling out its newly debuted ‘shopper first’ store format. 

Fifty-five Mace and Costcutter stores have already undergone the transformation, with more than 100 more “in the pipeline”, he said. 

Suni Keshwara’s Costcutter store in Kirton recently relaunched with a shopper-first refit. “The customers can’t believe the difference and our sales have grown 10% to 15%,” she said.

Mr Willson-Rymer also confirmed retailers would be able to join Nisa store owners in being able to order Co-op own-label products from 16 July.

Ms Keshwara said she believes the Co-op branded products could double the store’s sales growth. 

There are eight rules retailers must follow to stock Co-op own brand goods, with inspections by the Co-op in-store to uphold the rules. 

The launch of the Co-op label will be supported by store-specific promotional material and advice.

Read more: Costcutter's secret Co-op franchise store trial grew sales by 70%