Nisa has embarked on an ambitious plan to become "the symbol group of choice" for retailers.

Creative work has begun for the group's first-ever television advertisement, due to be screened in the run-up to Christmas.

Debbie Robinson, the Co-op's former brand guru, has been recruited on a fixed-term contract to develop the ad and aspects of the Nisa branding.

Nisa's symbol group turnover is up by 22% year on year the fastest-growing division within the organisation with like-for-like sales up 9.4%.

Nearly 300 of the group's new white fascias have been erected in the past year, covering both new recruits and conversions by existing members, and Nisa expects to grow the total to 815 by March 2011. By 2012, it aims to have 1,000 symbol group stores, as well as increasing the average size of unit within the scheme to more than 2,500sq ft.

Nisa is also maintaining new quality and loyalty benchmarks for members, with stores having to be compliant with New Era terms to qualify for a new fascia, and a compulsory mystery shopper scheme.