Talks are underway within Nisa-Today's which could result in the retail and wholesale arms of the organisation being de-merged.

The group's board is understood to have discussed the idea at a meeting in January, and a member consultation period will now take place, starting at the organisation's annual exhibition at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, this week.

Retail organisation Nisa has 950 members, operating 3,500 stores with a combined turnover of £1.5bn. Wholesale arm The Today's Group boasts 228 members across 255 depots, with an accumulated turnover of £5bn. In recent years both organisations have been focusing on driving up symbol group membership, potentially putting them in competition with each other.

In an official statement, Nisa-Today's said: “The marketplace in which both Nisa and Today's now operate has changed radically from that when Today's Group was first formed in 1987 and it has become clear that Today’s wholesale has very different future needs to those of Nisa retail. Both require tailored strategies, resources and direction that may be best served and achieved by becoming separate, stand-alone organisations with focussed management and member directors.

“This would not mean an end to all existing relationships between Nisa and Today’s. Indeed, there may be more commercial opportunities to be gained by working as partners that cannot be realised by being part of a single organisation.”