Nisa retailers have welcomed a pause on talks between their fascia group and Sainsbury’s in the wake of the multiple temporarily halting negotiations.

The decision to pull out of deal talks has arisen because Sainsbury’s wants to wait until the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published the results of its investigation into the proposed Tesco-Booker merger.

Retailers told RN it would give the group a chance to fully assess the implications of a deal and the best moves for its members.

Harj Dhasee, of Nisa Village Stores in Mickleton, said: “It’s a good thing to do, there’s nothing to be gained in jumping in feet first.

“There’s no point starting the process if it falls at a later hurdle. This gives everyone a chance to think about it.

“I’m certain there’s going to be a deal, it’s just a question of who we partner up with.”

Kishor Patel, of Houghton Trading, who operates stores in Hertfordshire and Middlesex, said: “Waiting for the outcome of the CMA decision is sensible. It gives a bit of breathing space, and the delay doesn’t worry me.”

The decision to pause deal talks came at the end of an exclusivity period between both parties which will not be continued for the time being. A source close to the deal revealed Co-op has signalled it is still interested in partnering with Nisa.

However, Mr Dhasee said Sainsbury’s was his preferred partner.

“Sainsbury’s is a shrewd operator, it works well and makes money. I’d love to do the deal with them. I think it’s offering the best package to retailers,” he said.

However, Philip Constantine, of Nisa Hither Green in south east London, said he struggled to back a result which could remove members’ independence.

“This break gives Nisa the chance to listen to what all its members are saying,” he said.