Sid Ali, owner of four Nisa stores in Scotland, says chilled food is selling really well thanks to Co-op’s own label range and his investment in new refrigeration. 

“Our chilled food is going really well at the minute after we brought in Co-op’s own label products. I think it will do even better next year if we get better margins. The range actually helps us compete with a nearby Co-op too.

“We’ve also installed new chillers and refrigerators in all our stores which has helped sales and made the stores more energy efficient and inviting as we go into the winter.

“What we’ve also done is introduced a number of promotions to give something back to our older customers. They tend to be the most loyal and valuable customers for convenience stores so we’ve reduced our two litre milk to 89p. Not only is this better value for our elderly shoppers, but it also doesn’t force them to buy a four litre carton that they won’t get through.

“We’ve also made our Hovis and Kingsmill loaves cheaper than the supermarkets at 99p, as well as make our butter and sugar cheaper. Basically, we’ve tried to reduce the price of all the essentials that an older customer might buy when they come into the stores.”

Star performers: “Sales of newspapers have actually increased since we started offering a special deal to our older customers. Our tobacco and alcohol sales are also up on last year.”

Successful NPD: “The sharing confectionery packs have done surprisingly well for us. The Maltesers Truffles have gone down especially well with our customers, as they are a great stocking filler for Christmas.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK launched Maltesers Truffles in July, alongside its Maltesers Button.

The Truffles marked the brand’s first step into the premium chocolate gifting market. The product combines a truffly texture with a malt-based crunch and is designed to be an all-year-round gift.

Maltesers Truffles are sold in a 54g token gift box (rrp £1.99) as well as a 200g medium gift pack (rrp £4.99).