betterRetailing has uncovered Nisa’s secret plans for a new ‘Nisa Express’ format and fascia designed to attract retailers with smaller shop sizes.

Sources close to the wholesaler told betterRetailing a new format would replace the Loco fascia as its small-format offering for new customers, and will have different terms to those required of Nisa Local retailers.

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One individual told betterRetailing stores under 1,000sq ft will be the main target for the format. “Nisa is looking to change its structure for small independent stores and make the requirements for rebates easier,” they said.

Another source said the decision was driven by a desire to compete with rival groups with specific formats for smaller shops, such as Booker’s Premier Express format. “Nisa is going for something smaller. Nisa stores are around 1,500sq ft, and have several hundred cases of delivery coming in. Nisa Express will work on a different format,” they explained.

This was confirmed by a source within Nisa, who claimed: “Booker symbols tell us they are dissatisfied with the benefits they’ve seen from Tesco compared to the benefits Nisa stores have seen from Co-op, a smaller format with more flexible ordering will allow us to compete for this business.”

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Another source added: “They’re effectively scrapping Loco, but they still want an option for smaller-format stores.

“There’s still debate and discussion over what that looks like and what the terms are. It’s due to launch next March.

“As far as I’m aware, there’s been no new Loco stores since the Co-op acquisition, and they have been trying to convert them to the Nisa brand when the opportunity arises.”

The source also claimed Nisa had wanted to unveil the Nisa Express format at its annual retailer conference in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, in March.

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The conference has historically been used by the company to announce updates to formats, such as its ‘Store of The Future Evolution 2’ format, which a source within Nisa confirmed is unaffected by the Express format launch.

Several sources also claimed to betterRetailing that Nisa is planning to launch a currently unnamed larger format known as ‘Plus’. According to sources, the larger option features stricter coherence to Co-op planograms and guides in return for increased merchandising and field support – some said this could be a rebranding of the Nisa Express format.

When asked about the leaks, a Nisa spokesperson did not deny either the Nisa Express or Nisa ‘Plus’ formats.

The company told betterRetailing: “There are no plans to rebrand Nisa Extra and any changes to our formats would be announced formally by Nisa.”

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