An independent survey of Costcutter retailers is under way to seek views on a number of key issues, and the group's new retailer forum will meet for the first time next month. The new retailer-led marketing forum has already had its first meeting.
Costcutter managing director Nick Ivel told C-Store: "The middle ground of symbol group retailing is saturated and at the moment we've only got one fascia. We need to ask ourselves: is this where we want to be?"
A new strapline 'Proud to be local' has been already added to marketing material, and a new head office marketing team recruited.
Retailers' views are also being sought on whether it should renew its distribution contract with Nisa, due to expire in 2014.
"Extending the contract with Nisa remains an option, but we've got to look at what retailers want," continued Ivel. "We are asking if we are currently doing what members require, and how we can build for the future, whether we are with Nisa or not. And do retailers want a complicated system of rebates, bonuses and surcharges, or do they want simplicity? What do they want on promotions? Rather than it being us making all the decisions, we want our retailers to inform us."
With a possible distribution change, Costcutter will continue to chase volumes, Ivel explained, adding that several new supply contracts similar to those that brought RedOrange and PGMA under the Costcutter banner, were under discussion.
"Times are tough, but we're fighting hard," he added. "We've lost some members to the financial squeeze, but not really to other groups. We expect to be about 2% up on last year and turnover should have topped £650m by our 25th anniversary in September."