West Midlands symbol group Select & Save is on the verge of deciding its new supply partner following the expiration of its contract with Nisa at the end of April.

The symbol group’s new managing director, Andrew King, said a decision would be made at the end of this month.

“It’s a huge decision whichever way we go,” said King, who did not want to risk compromising the process by commenting on those involved and whether any had been shortlisted.

“I’ve just brought a third party in to help me run some more analysis because it’s not just about the supply model but where that particular company is going,” King said.

“We need to understand what it is we want from a supply partner…terms, drops sizes, frequency, fresh agenda, single pick versus case pick, and where they are going.”

He said that was challenging at the moment with the backdrop of Tesco’s play for Booker and Co-op Group’s for Nisa.

“Having made that decision I’ve then got to reinforce to our retailers why it’s the right thing for them and what we are going to do to support them and that’s about bedding it in over what is a challenging period – Christmas.”

The supply deal would be followed up with work around the brand, what it stood for, how to better communicate, refreshing the look and feel.

“Then in February/March we will start to think about making retailing easier for our members….and then we want to grow.”

Growth would come through helping members increase their sales and advising them on the right categories to drive.

“At the moment our heartland is the Midlands, although we do go as far south as London and as far north as Liverpool, Nottingham and Doncaster,” King said.