The People's Supermarket has taken an important step towards national expansion after joining Nisa last week.

Co-founder Kate Wickes-Bull told C-Store that becoming a Nisa member would provide it with the strength and confidence to open further stores. The London co-operative had previously been buying through a variety of local suppliers as well as Booker and P&H.

"Looking to the future, a long-term partnership with Nisa will be particularly helpful when we come to open new People's Supermarkets," Wickes-Bull said. "Its knowledge, support and expertise will make the learning curve much less steep. The People's Supermarket has done incredibly well in the past year, but if we're going to grow the business the support of a company like Nisa will help us stay ahead of the game," she added.

Nisa has already assisted the Holborn store with sourcing new refrigeration equipment and is set to offer staff training and merchandising advice.

Wickes-Bull added: "The biggest draw for us is that, like us, Nisa is a co-operative, meaning that we share many of the same principles and values."

The news came as Nisa announced that it was to kick off its second round of national TV advertising on September 12. With autumn approaching, it was the perfect time for the ads to hit screens, group symbol director John Heagney said.

"With more than 800 Nisa symbol group stores around the country we have a big share of the independent grocery market and need to shout about the benefits of Nisa stores," he added.