Co-op and Nisa 'in the dark' on CMA decision

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The Co-operative Group has admitted it does not know when it expects regulatory clearance of its proposed takeover of Nisa, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) yet to launch an investigation into the deal.

After Nisa members approved the proposed takeover last November, the Co-op Group said it expected approval by the end of March. However, a CMA spokeswoman has described the claim as “speculation”.

A Co-op spokesman told C-Store the group was “pretty much” in the dark over an expected clearance date, but added: “Hopefully we’ll get an indicative feel over when it’s going to happen in the next week or so.”

Costcutter is also expected to make a full transition to the Co-op as its new supply partner in April, but chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said that the supply map of how deliveries to stores will be accomplished cannot be made clear until the CMA has given its final ruling.

“We have agreed service levels with the Co-op, but we will have to wait and see what the CMA says about the Nisa takeover first,” he explained. “After that it will be up to the Co-op to work out the best way to service our stores.”

Nisa retailer Rav Garcha, who owns five stores in the West Midlands, said: “I’ve had no communication about what’s going on, but the uncertainty isn’t a problem. I’d rather Costcutter retailers were the guinea pigs in a way! But I doubt Costcutter will be supplied before the Nisa deal goes through. But I still feel optimistic.”

Harj Dhasee, owner of Nisa Mickleton Village Stores in Gloucestershire, said: “We are in the same boat: no idea. I’m hoping it will be clear after Easter – it’s business as usual at the moment but I’m already looking at changes we will need to make going forward in terms of how to maximise the benefits of the Co-op range.”

Readers' comments (7)

  • Not so much a problem for Nisa as it’s business as usual until it’s reviewed but how does Costcutter plan to transition in April.. Let’s face it - Costcutter management team doesn’t have a clue what’s going on yet they will continue to keep making more promises to keep the loyal and blinded retailers on side!

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  • So basically, Costcutter are ok as they now have a deal to try and make Bibby some money at long last, but yet again they have no idea on how they plan to get stock to us retailers. This could take ages and what happens to us in the meantime? Good for Nisa with extra volume and good for co op but not good for Costcutter. When will Darcy learn by these mistakes..

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  • if I was a CC member I would jump ship over to nisa . at least you know your source of goods into your shop and not having to pay CC fees . I jumped CC ship decades ago and certainly saw my bottom figures improve by 2%

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  • So "ASH", you must be the only NISA customer who does NOT pay a surcharge.Well done fella.

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  • I’ve recently jumped ship and gone to Budgens - my margin is better and more importantly my cash flow is happy again.. During 2017 my cash flow was shot with Costcutter.. Should of gone years ago!!

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  • Should HAVE gone years ago!!

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  • As if the Co-Op wouldn't be given the all clear to buy Nisa. The CMA are a waste of space. They let Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer (and more than twice the turnover of any other UK company, not just grocers) take over Booker Group, including Booker Cash & Carry, Booker Direct, Makro, Budgens, Londis, Premier Stores and Family Shopper. This proves the CMA are unfit for purpose and can't stop monopolies. Anyone still using a Booker (or should that be Tesco) symbol group is a traitor and will be partly responsible for killing off all independent convenience stores. I can't get my head around the fact some people are happy to bend over and let Tesco make profit out of every sale they make, as if it's not bad enough that Tesco has already put so many independent retailers out of business.

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