North East Convenience Stores (NECS) is in discussions with a new supply partner after agreeing to end its 16-year relationship with Nisa.

The 31-strong c-store chain said its current strategy and plans for growth could no longer be fulfilled by Nisa as its main supply partner.

Nisa said neither party could find a mutually beneficial position to move forward so would cease to supply NECS from 1 August 2016. The majority of NECS’ stores operate under the Nisa or Loco fascias in the North East. It also operates two Bargain Booze franchises.

Naveen Vadhera, managing director of NECS and former co chair of the Nisa symbol Group Development Committee, said “We have had a record trading year and are currently moving forward with a strong pipeline of new store openings over the next 12 months.

“We are looking forward to working with a new supply partner who can fulfil our requirements with regards to distribution, pricing, range and promotional activity as we continue to drive to be the best independent convenience store group in the UK.”

Sanjeev Vadhera (pictured), financial director of NECS, added: “Our business model does not fit into the turnaround strategy of Nisa and despite being an elected Nisa board director, I feel the time is right to move to pastures new and to work with a partner who has the same strategy and ambition as we do.

“We are currently in detailed conversations with a new partner and are excited for the future.”

Nick Read, CEO of Nisa, said: “A move such as this is regrettable where neither party can find a mutually beneficial position to move forward, but Nisa needs to exist for the benefit of all of its members and we have a responsibility to ensure that happens.”

The Group had previously stated that ceasing to supply ”loss-making” accounts would be part of its turnaround strategy going forward.

“We are moving away from loyal members subsidising other members and from non profit-making members benefiting from all that is good about Nisa, but not contributing to the club,” Read added. “That is not the purpose of a proud, independent, mutual organisation.”