It’s a very interesting time for the symbol group market right now. It’s a growing market, and has been for many years as independent retailers realise that they need increasing levels of professionalism and support in order to compete, but it’s also in high flux.

For one thing, the recession is causing many retailers to re-evaluate their costs, prices and marketing, and rethinking their wholesale relationships is all part of that. Second, structural issues such as the unresolved Costcutter/Nisa deal is creating uncertainty and, finally, there are an increasing number of different fascia options and packages available, including the formation of sub-brands and groups within groups.

At C-Store we always support trends that give retailers the greatest number of options to grow their businesses, so we regard it as great news that there are so many good symbol options to choose from.

If you want some help making up your mind, look out for our What Fascia supplement with this issue. We’ve worked with the symbol group providers to give them a platform to tell you the information you need to know about each group, and the benefits you’ll get from joining. I hope it helps make the decision easier.