Financial results posted with Companies House show that in the year to 1 April 2018, wholesale distributor, Nisa Retail had sales of £1,457m, an increase of over 16% on 2017. Able to step into the breach left by the collapse of Palmer & Harvey in November 2017, Nisa benefited especially from gaining a short-term agreement to supply 1,024 Costcutter stores and 172 McColl's outlets. This boosted overall store recruitment to 1,836 for the year and Nisa ended the year with a 'live' network of 4,225 stores across the UK.
Gains across all product areas
In keeping with the small format of most of the stores coming into supply in the year, tobacco and alcohol were the categories that gained the biggest uplifts, with tobacco in particular getting the greatest cash uplift with an additional £76m of sales gained. As a result tobacco penetration in the total sales mix rose to 32%. Growth in fresh and frozen (up 16.6%) especially benefited Nisa private label ranges, with its fresh ranges notably seeing significant outperformance, up 23.1%.
Contract extension with Costcutter underpins continuing growth
While Nisa's supply agreement with McColl's has largely ceased, the roll-out of the Co-op contract to supply the full Costcutter estate for the coming five years is substantially making up for this loss. Backed with the buying and private label capability of Co-op as its parent, Nisa is now in a position to significantly improve its future offering to its independent retail customer base. The business is also continuing to invest in format solutions for retailers, enabling them to implement store designs that engage with emerging shopper trends and target opportunities to capture additional footfall.
Commenting on the outlook for the future Robin Brown, Director, said:
'Nisa's new ownership structure, under the Co-op, will strike a balance between offering greater scale and an improved product offering, with the continued flexibility to trade their businesses as they want. Co-op's market-leading position in the convenience sector and award-winning own brand range will help invigorate the Nisa wholesale proposition for the benefit of partners' businesses.'
Diary date - Co-op Trade Briefing 19 September
Hear from the senior team on Co-op retail and wholesale strategies, click here for more details.