More than 2,000 community retailers are expected to take part in 'Making A Difference - Locally', a charity initiative introduced this month by Nisa-Today's and Costcutter with the support of suppliers.

Intended to raise the profile of stores within their neighbourhoods, the scheme allows retailers to nominate local good causes to receive charitable donations. A proportion of the price for certain lines purchased through central distribution will be put into a virtual bank account for each store, and can then be passed on in the retailer's name to approved good causes such as local hospices or sports teams.

Nisa-Today's John Sharpe said: "The Making A Difference initiative has been designed to help retailers reaffirm their position at the heart of the community. From May 12 we will be distributing pos kits for every store and a total of 4.85 million consumer leaflets, and we will be advising stores on how to use the local media to make the most of their involvement."

Chief executive Neil Turton added that Making A Difference was a long-term initiative which the company hoped would become synonymous with the Nisa brand.

He added that Nisa was taking a radical look at its symbol group and working with retailers to review proposals for large-scale brand development. "We will be asking what the brand means to customers, and looking at how we can work with retailers to incorporate their personality and local preferences into it. That includes looking at the relationship between our brand and the retailers', and investigating options for co-branding."