Nearly 200 stores have switched from Costcutter to Nisa since the new buy and supply arrangement with P&H was announced in March 2013, Nisa Retail has announced.

The group claimed that 186 Costcutter stores have joined since the split with Costcutter was revealed, as part of record recruitment levels that has seen the addition of 234 new stores and an estimated £150m of new business since the turn of the calendar year.

Nisa Retail chief executive Neil Turton hailed it as a “new stage in our history”.

“The exit of Costcutter from membership signals a bright future for Nisa as a retail company focused on our customers, both end consumer and retailer,” he said. “We’re delighted to welcome to the Nisa family those Costcutter retailers who have joined us directly as new Nisa members.

“For our suppliers, we will continue to deliver an effective and high service route to market,” he continued. “In the last two years we have faced questions about Nisa’s future in a post-Costcutter world. We have stood up to those questions and, I believe, answered them resoundingly.”

Costcutter Supermarkets Group recently reported that it was still net positive for store recruitment despite the defection of the members to Nisa.

The group reported that it opened 353 new accounts in the year to December 2013 across its family of brands Costcutter, Kwiksave and Mace.

According to the Buyco, the joint venture buying company set up by Costcutter and P&H last year, negotiations with suppliers are progressing “extremely well”.

A spokesman said: “Suppliers have understood the market consolidation opportunity that we are offering them. We are pleased with the progress and excited about the future, which will create significant change in the convenience market.

“We have met with about 170 suppliers, roughly 80% of our volume, and they have been understanding of our strategy.”