New Nisa chief executive Nick Read has pledged to bring the cost of goods down for members.

Speaking at the group’s annual exhibition in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, last week, Read told C-Store: “I have spent four to six weeks on the road meeting members, and it’s clear that while our range, availability and delivery are fantastic, we have some challenges on margin. It’s all about the cost of goods.”

The ceo admitted that while the loss of Costcutter was “challenging”, the recent ‘Buy For Less’ programme has enabled the group to build up a war chest to invest in price if necessary in order to remain competitive. However, it may come at the cost of range, he explained.

“We carry 13,000 SKUs, the biggest in the sector, but with that comes challenges on price. Range consolidation in tandem with our suppliers has to be the way forward.”

Read’s first decisions at Nisa included restructuring management into defined operations and field teams, reducing the senior team from 10 to seven, and freeing up the business unit directors to engage with members.

“We have got to be easier to do business with, and to get members to buy more through the centre. So we need to make terms simpler, and get rid of Long Term Arrangements and ‘mates rates’.”

Read has also cancelled the group’s franchise trial. “As a concept it’s right for certain places, but it doesn’t fit with what we are doing now,” he explained. “If you’re going to do it, you need to do it right, and we didn’t have the plan, expertise or discipline to execute it.”

Read said that “putting the pride and trust back into Nisa” is another key priority for his tenure. “We have big challenges around member engagement, and there has been a lack of trust and openness between the centre and the members, which Lord Myners’ report (see right) brought to life.”