Sugro Retail Group is aiming to roll out its Nearbuy symbol group nationwide by targeting one region at a time in a focused campaign to build its market presence.

The Cheshire-based symbol group plans to add to the 18 existing Nearbuy stores through a campaign of ‘cluster marketing,’ Sugro UK managing director Phillip Jenkins said at a recent press conference. The group will initially target the South West, before focusing on South Wales, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. “We’ll then start to move towards London,” he explained. “Cluster marketing will bring far more local recognition and create a perception of a national group.”

He said that some of Sugro’s 1,400 unaffiliated Sweetbreak members will be moved up to Nearbuy stores.

Sugro Retail Group has been buoyed by its recent partnership with Nisa, which “puts us in a position of full supply,” Jenkins said. “The Nisa facilities in Scunthorpe are aboslutely fantastic. We wanted their retail expertise and category distribution opportunities, especially with fresh and chilled.” The group also plans to enter the Northern Ireland market with the Sugro Convenience fascia.

Despite Sugro UK posting 12% growth in the first half of 2012, Jenkins said many independents faced liquidity concerns over the next few months, with issues such as the minimum wage and margin pressures resulting from price-marked packs taking their toll. “It is our responsibility to ensure indies enjoy the widest margins possible. If something isn’t done, we’ll lose a lot of independents,” he said. “Retailers are worn out as they’re not able to hire staff.”

However, he was optimistic about the future of traditional CTNs. “People have been talking about their demise for years but they’re still here.”