You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Nisa Local store

In today’s ultra-competitive world with the cost of business rocketing, being part of a symbol, fascia or franchise is becoming more and more of a no-brainer. SLR catches up with Darren May, Format and Development Manager at Nisa to find out the benefits of Nisa membership.


The retail environment has arguably never been tougher than it is today and one of the few decisions a retailer can make that can yield instantaneous positive results is choosing to join a symbol group, or to move to another symbol group that perhaps better suits their needs.

Darren May, Format and Development Manager at Nisa, believes his symbol group is “the proven partner of choice for independent retailers”.

He comments: “With multi award-winning stores including Ardeer Services, Greens of Markinch, Pinkie Farm Convenience Store and Giacopazzi’s Milnathort, Nisa is the proven partner of choice for many market-leading, independently minded retailers in Scotland.”

May says Nisa has been working tirelessly for more than 40 years to provide all the tools needed to compete against the ever-increasing competition in the convenience retail sector.

With Nisa, retailers can operate under a choice of symbol fascias: Nisa Local, Nisa Extra and dual-branded whereby a retailer maintains their local identity whilst benefiting from the strength of the Nisa brand. Alternatively, retailers can trade under their own independent fascia if they wish.

“Nisa provides a complete retail support package to its retailers to ensure they remain competitive in the marketplace,” says May. “This comprises a strong retail focused team, covering retail development managers and regional retail managers, in addition to fresh food development managers, who encourage retailers to make the most of this important category, and store development managers who help to further develop stores. Also offered is an enhanced category management system providing personalised planograms, a bespoke staff training facility and a comprehensive marketing package. The latter includes bespoke leaflets, point of sale material and personalised Nisa FM broadcasts providing retailers with a strong radio network for their store and national advertising.”

All of this is in addition to the award-winning supply chain, a strong award-winning own label range and over 13,000 SKUs.

Nisa also offers a quality EPoS solution – Epositive Evolution – which is provided exclusively to Nisa members. With the ability to access promotions, stock lists and point of sale in a simple, touch-screen system it is, believes May, a complete business management tool. The updated Evolution Version 2.0 was rolled out to retailers earlier this year with more intuitive software and new features which improve efficiency for retailers.

Nisa’s Evolution store format has seen great success and those retailers who converted in 2018, achieved, on average, a 12% uplift in sales. “The Evolution format prides itself on offering a greater degree of flexibility to retailers, moving away from a one size fits all model to a more modular development format,” comments May.

“Nisa’s flexible model providers its retailers with an unbeatable breadth of range and an excellent availability rate. This is supported by Nisa’s award-winning own label range, Heritage which provides retailers with some 800 great quality products at affordable prices,” he adds.

Another big draw for Nisa retailers has been access to almost 2,000 of Co-op’s high-quality own brand products across all categories, which represents more than 80% of the Co-op range. May explains: “Since the Co-op completed its acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited in May 2018 work has been focused on ensuring our independent retailers can experience the benefits as quickly as possible through their strong relationship with Nisa as their primary supplier. With newfound business stability and improved financial strength, Nisa partners can trade their businesses in the independent way they have always enjoyed, backed by competitive prices, promotions and a deeper own brand range which is so important in today’s market in order to drive a real point of difference.

“This is all conveniently delivered by Nisa’s industry-leading supply chain which retailers can trust with an impressive 99.9% of deliveries made on the day and 95% successfully made on time.

“By joining Nisa, retailers can source local products and have them invoiced centrally, creating a simpler and time efficient process. All orders are placed directly with individual suppliers, deliveries are made direct to store, but invoicing and administration is managed centrally, taking the hassle away from the retailer.”

With convenience stores at the heart of their communities, Nisa recognises the importance of community involvement, and enables its partners to support good causes in their local area through Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally (MADL) charity. MADL has been proudly supporting local communities since 2008 and in that time has donated over £8.4m to more than 11,000 charities and other good causes.

Retailers can join the Nisa group through the partner website and can rely on superb support from the skilled in-house staff involved in the joining process.

Complete the online form or contact the development team on 0800 542 7490.