Nisa invests £2 million in price reductions; unveils new Fresh Thinking proposition

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Nisa has today announced a £2 million investment in price to allow its retail partners to remain competitive.

The significant investment will see many items reduced in price on branded as well as Co-op own brand products, which have been dropped as part of its Fresh Thinking proposition to help partners meet changing shopper habits.

Unveiled at today’s Nisa Live virtual conference, the symbol group said the Fresh Thinking will be at the centre of its business strategy, adding that the proposition will be fundamental in helping to shape and grow its entrepreneurial partner base.

“For any brand or business to succeed, you must be clear about what your customers and partners want and what makes you different from competitors. With the support of our partners, we’ve been working the last few months to define the Nisa proposition and Fresh Thinking will help guide our decisions based on our retailers’ needs,” said Laura Gomersal, Head of Marketing at Nisa.

The proposition offers partners access to retail expertise and thought leadership to help continually improve customer experience, through instore solutions, category insights, store format innovation and expert account management teams.

They’ll get the business support and tools and tailored support packages to drive their independent businesses forward, as well as access to a high quality, fresh offer and the national recognition of Co-op own brand, backed up by market-leading availability service levels.

As Co-op own-brand plays a pivotal role in helping partners to develop a fresh proposition and deliver great value, Nisa has upweighted its marketing support to help retailers add value within their stores.

Partners with a credible range of Co-op own brand products will get access to an enhanced multi-channel Proud to Stock support package, to help make shoppers aware that Nisa Partners stock Co-op.

Nisa is also offering enhanced support of new product development and has launched the Co-op core essentials range, to support partners in building their offering into a credible Co-op own brand range.

The investment in price reductions has reduced the wholesale price of many Co-op Own brand products, including Chicken Fillets, Baked Beans and Flour, and is available to partners now.

“We are always looking for ways to ensure our partners can adapt and grow in a fast-evolving market; this significant investment in price will ensure our partners stay competitive across a basket of goods, helping to drive sales and margin in key categories,” Ken Towle, chief executive, said.

Nisa said the investment will not only support partner margin on individual product lines but will increase bottom line POR. Additional investment spend on branded items from the front basket including Lucozade, KitKat and Cathedral City Cheese is expected to help partners stay competitive in an evolving market.

Nisa added that its data shows the growing importance of Co-op Own brand on the optimal category mix and a partner’s profit on return (POR); in a sample of 1000 supplied Nisa stores, the impact of own brand sales of about 20 per cent has been shown to increase partner POR by 5.3 per cent on average, while a category sales mix that includes more than 30 per cent fresh and frozen products (compared with only 14 per cent in traditional convenience stores) saw a POR increase of 7.1 per cent.

Nisa has also announced a significant investment in its logistics and delivery network as its looks to become the distribution partner of choice for independent retailers.

This includes a substantial investment in new vehicles as part of Nisa’s ‘fleet refresh’ programme, helping to secure new specialist temperature-controlled vehicles, alongside upgrades to depot sites, with improvements in refrigeration and freeze plants underway to cater to the growing partner demand for fresh.

The Nisa Live virtual conference has also heard the symbol group announcing a continued improvement of delivery methods, including how independent retailers receive chilled goods to minimize unpacking and stacking costs and improve efficiency.

Planned for the second half of this year, a new electronic proof of delivery system (e-POD) will enable a simpler paperless sign off process on delivery.

The group has launched its Distribution Charter at the conference, saying that it aims to publish key performance information relating to distribution, for example number of deliveries on time and routed out statistics, in order to increase transparency.

“Today’s investment to improve the efficiency, reliability and ease-of-use of our service will ensure Nisa is able to maintain its market leading levels of availability and improve the distribution service for our partners,” commented John McNeill, chief operating officer.