The Co-op Group has promised Nisa retailers access to an initial 800 Co-op own brand lines and cost price reductions of up to 20% on a number of lines, as well as continued access to Nisa’s Heritage own brand.

Speaking in a media call following its takeover of Nisa this week, Co-op Retail ceo Jo Whitfield said Nisa members would also gain access to Co-op promotions and 100 new branded lines – and pledged to continue investing in Heritage.

“We are committed to the Heritage brand and have no intention of phasing it out. It’s valued by Nisa members and plays a good role in the offer. The Co-op own label offer will add a point of difference in some categories,” Whitfield said.

Asked about the franchisee programme, Whitfield said the first Nisa retailers would switch to Co-op franchises by the end of the year.

“The criteria for franchisees is not fixed. It’s about location and what they think they can deliver. It will be informed by one to one discussions with people who show interest,” she added.

“We have a really good process for keeping the Nisa partners close and will be using the forum as well as six regional roadshows in June to meet as many of them as we can face to face.”

She said the Co-op had “high ambition to grow the Nisa business and win additional contracts”.

Costcutter retailers would also have access to Heritage own brand through Nisa deliveries.

“The relationship that we have with Costcutter is a supply relationship through Nisa. They invest their own terms. It’s a very separate relationship. Costcutter will set its own prices for its own retailers, it’s not something that we control,” Whitfield said.

New Nisa chief executive Ken Towle, a former Tesco executive, added: “I am tremendously excited about this opportunity. There is so much change being driven in the industry at the moment as a result of changes in consumer behaviour. Bringing together these two strong, independent organisations will help us to respond to that change.”