In a move which “surprised” the wholesale group's senior management, PGMA announced that it would be leaving the Nisa membership - with whom it was in the midst of negotiating a new contract - and instead operate as a member of Costcutter from March 31.
Speaking exclusively to Convenience Store, Nisa’s group sales director Andrew Mouse said he was “bemused” by PGMA’s actions, and particularly its intention to switch groups in just over two months time, as he maintains they still have six months to run on their contract with Nisa.
The fact that Scotland was fast becoming a major growth area for Nisa-Today’s, with Scottish business growing at 20% year on year, made PGMA’s decision “even more strange” Mouse added. PGMA, which is the Scottish buying arm of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, accounts for just under than 0.5% of Nisa’s volume.
“We will wait to see where we go from here, but clearly it’s a huge shame,” Mouse conceded.
Nisa-Today’s has recruited 155 new members equating to 400 new stores during the current financial year - and numbers are expected to keep on climbing thanks to the launch of its new TV advertising campaign and trade media communications, Mouse continued.
“The adverts are already having a really positive impact on recruitment and we are confident that we will attract an additional 200 new members within the next year as a result,” he added.
Earlier this week Nisa also launched a new trade micro site to help retailers learn more about what the group represented and offered.
“These are clearly very exciting times for the company, but of course if PGMA does chose to leave membership it wont share in any of the benefits,” Mouse added.