Retail group Nisa breaks £1.5bn barrier

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RETAIL group Nisa broke the £1.5bn sales barrier last year after its performance was boosted by strong Christmas trading.

Scunthorpe-based Nisa, which supports 4,000 independent retailers across the UK, reported that full year sales rose by 10.5 per cent in value terms to £1.58bn.

The strong performance follows a record Christmas, which saw 16.4 per cent growth year on year. Nisa has also recruited an extra 692 stores in the last year.

The company’s full year EBITDA was £12.3m, compared with £12.2m the year before.

Neil Turton, Nisa’s chief executive, said he expected to see a slight drop in turnover this year, but the group is set to become more efficient and profitable.

Mr Turton said consumer patterns were changing, with people shopping more locally, and more often.

A Nisa spokesman said: “On average, retailers who join Nisa will see a sales uplift of around 10 per cent within the first year. Nisa has not rested on its laurels despite its success, and is aiming to drive further growth through a focused investment plan that has seen a new own label range, which it plans to develop from a £200m to £500m brand, and store formats rolled out in 2014.” Nisa launched the first of its new store formats in April following analysis of its existing stores.

Mr Turton added: “The convenience sector is in a period of expansion, with a number of operators looking to increase their estate, but convenience store development is a tough thing to get right.

“Our new formats recognise that shoppers in different locations want different things, so we can’t simply operate a one size fits all model and say this is going to be the best in the market. The first two new format sites we’ve launche have a very different store offering specific to the local area.

“It’s an evolving project, but early signs are positive, with the Cardiff store experiencing a sales uplift of 21 per cent in its first

week trading, and the Peterborough site seeing a 11.5 per cent uplift.”

Nisa supports more than 1,200 local retailers, and 4,000 stores across the UK.