Retailers have urged Co-op to increase its level of communication, following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) clearance of the company’s £138m merger with Nisa. 

Harj Dhasee, of Nisa The Village Store in Mickleton, welcomed the decision, which will enable Nisa stores to be supplied with Co-op own label products. Mr Dhasee told RN he would like to know what to do with his products in the next three months.

“The approval is fantastic and we’re out of a limbo where we’ve been wondering about our supply chain.

“I’d now like to find out how the Co-op own label range will fit alongside Nisa Heritage products and whether we need to alter certain lines. I’d like to have everything in place by the end of June.”

Paul Cheema, of Nisa Malcolm’s Stores in Coventry, said: “The CMA has made the right decision. The Co-op definitely needs to increase its level of communication, but we can’t rush things.

“Nisa and Co-op must consider exactly what kind of range, prices and promotions will fit into each store.”

The CMA’s investigation found there is enough competition in the market to prevent either company from increasing prices or reducing overall service quality. The CMA also decided Co-op and Nisa are not direct competitors.

A court hearing on 4 May will legally recognise the merger.

Commenting on the approval, CMA senior director of mergers Sheldon Mills said: “After careful consideration, we’ve found that there is sufficient competition in both the wholesale and retail sectors to ensure that shoppers are not worse off.”

The unconditional clearance follows a vote in November in which 75% of Nisa members were in favour of the merger.

Nisa chairman Peter Hartley added: “Today’s ruling by the CMA is excellent news and a significant step towards finalising the transaction that our members voted for.”