Nisa retailers have started placing orders for the Co-op Group’s own label range, which will be introduced into independent stores over the next few weeks.

Emma Jenkins, owner of Milverton Store, in Taunton, Somerset, said the Co-op’s food range will be introduced gradually into her store.

“The products are becoming available to us in four tranches,” she said. “The first 49 products are available for us to order next week, then another 350 will be available mid-July, another 350 in September, and then the final of the 800 products in total will become available to order in November.”

Emma said the choice of products available now includes pizzas, soft drinks, crisps, snacks and biscuits.

She added: “I’m particularly looking forward to selling the Co-op pizzas as I think these are a jump in quality from the Heritage range. I’ll sample these during after school hours over the next few weeks.

“A lot of what I order will be to replace the Heritage range but I am also bringing in an extra chiller so I can increase my chilled range.”

Rav Garcha, owner of three Nisa stores in the West Midlands, has only just received details of the Co-op range, after attending a Nisa roadshow last week.

He said: “I went to the roadshows last week and I’m just about to look through the book to see what Co-op products we’re going to order.

“The own label range is going to be different for each of my stores because no two stores are the same. It’s too early to say what kind of effect the products are going to have on the rest of our range.”

Jackie North, manager at Nisa Local, Market Square in York, said her team has also been briefed about the new Co-op range.

“We had meetings with Nisa last week and have been working with the team to decide what Co-op products we want. We are only going to introduce them bit by bit and don’t have the space to offer the full range so it’s going to be a gradual process over the next few months.

“I think some customers may be confused at first that Nisa stores are selling Co-op products but as long as we have the right information and POS to let customers know about the range then it shouldn’t be a problem.”