Symbol group Select & Save has hinted that it could exit Nisa and sign a new supply agreement with a different wholesaler.

The Midlands-based store group has been supplied by Nisa for 15 years but has yet to renew its distribution contract, which expired on 30 April. Negotiations with Nisa are “ongoing”, according to the symbol group, but in the meantime it is using “several” other wholesalers to supply stores on a trial basis.

Managing director Kam Sanghera said: “The Select & Save brand has become a major player in the convenience symbol sector and we are grateful for all the support that the Nisa organisation has contributed towards our overall growth. However, with the challenges that Nisa now faces and the uncertainty within the convenience sector at the moment, it is now time to review the arrangement we have in place so that we can continue to offer members the stability and confidence they expect while letting them develop their entrepreneurial skills and develop their businesses.”

In total, the group has 65 stores trading under the Select & Save banner, with a combined turnover of £20m. Sanghera maintained that he was looking to expand membership to 200 stores by 2020, and is looking at rebranding and refreshing the store group’s imagery. A decision on a new supply deal is likely to be made by the end of June.

“We are looking for a partner that can not only add value to our members’ business in terms of margin, professionalism, availability and all other metrics that retailers demand but also one which meets the requirements of today’s shoppers” he continued. “Today’s shoppers are more fickle than at any time in history using up to four different channels per month. For the continued success of the business we have to ensure that we are offering shoppers mission-based shopping at prices that are comparable to other retailers – independents, symbols, discounters and multiples – all of whom are fighting to gain a larger share of the convenience spend.

“Tesco’s acquisition of Booker has to be taken seriously, and we have to be ahead of the game,” he added. “There will be many more deals such as this to come, and it will be interesting to see what happens with P&H. There is so much uncertainty in the industry at the moment and Select & Save is a close retail family of members. As a trusted guardian, I have to be sure that we are taking care of this family now and for future generations whether that is with the Nisa organisation or with another wholesale group.”