037: How Nisa Are Transforming Independent Grocery Retail (part 1)

8 Jul 2019 | Guest Interviews, Podcast

037 - How Nisa Are Transforming Independent Grocery Retail (part 1) with Steve Leach - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Publish Date

8 July 2019

Your Host

Oliver Banks


Convenience is a massive trend in the retail market right now, and most notably in the grocery category. In this episode of the Retail Transformation Show podcast, we’re joined by Nisa Retail’s Sales Director, Steve Leach, who shares more about the Nisa business model and ways of working to help make independent supermarkets more successful.

In this episode, you’ll find out:

  • Who are Nisa? (And what is their purpose).
  • How to say Nisa (This is one of the most common questions it turns out!).
  • What is Nisa’s business model work and how does it work?
  • How are they looking to grow even further.
  • Why the acquisition by Coop delivers even more benefit to Nisa members.



Also take a listen to part 2 in episode 38.

Introducing Steve Leach

Steve Leach, Sales Director of Nisa RetailSteve Leach is the Sales Director at Nisa. Essentially, he is accountable for UK sales and new business strategy to maximise revenue, growth and profit. Plus, he aims to exceed partner recruitment targets to help encourage more independent retailers into the group and deliver even more benefits.

He has a really broad experience having worked with several major retailers. He’s previously worked at Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury’s, Boots and Vodafone. These roles have included Retail Director, Store Manager, Head of Retail Operations and Head of Transformation.

The best place to connect with Steve is on Twitter, where you can find him with the handle @first4retail.

Running a successful independent grocery business in today’s market

Nisa Independent Grocery Retail Store - with Greens of Markinch

(C) Nisa Retail

There are so many different elements to take into consideration to be a successful “indie” (independent) retailer. From product sourcing and range selection, through to pricing. From achieving the right store design, building the right team and even organising a timely supply chain.

Basically, you need to put in place an entire “end to end” operating model, and be able to minimise cost and maximise revenue through great value products.

Nisa help independent retailers do just this with their flexible model that allows indie retailers to pick and choose the elements that then need most support and help with.

“The key backbone of the Nisa success over the years has been the delivery on time, and that we operate across the country.”

Steve Leach

Who are Nisa?

Nisa logoNisa Retail is a convenience store brand and grocery wholesaler. They operate in the UK and 180 countries across the globe.

It has been running since 1977. Dudley Ramsden from Grimsby and Peter Garvin from Sheffield launched the business as the “Northern Independent Supermarket Association.” Since then, they’ve grown and become the “National Independent Supermarket Association” – with the initials: N-I-S-A – or Nisa!

The original goal was to be able to collate and pool buying power together for mutual benefit. In fact, that original goal is still true today.

“When Dudley and Peter started the business, and all those years ago, in 1977, it was so that they could consolidate the buying power of lots of individual partners so that the independent retailers could buy the goods at a scale that made them competitive to compete. And actually fast forward to where we are now, it’s exactly the same story.”

Steve Leach

Find out more

There were lots of references in the show.

If you’re interested in discovering more about Nisa – or are interested in joining them – then go to join-nisa.co.uk.

Nisa support a charity, Making a Difference Locally – you can find them on Twitter at @MADLcharity

Plus, Nisa Retail are very active on Twitter at @NisaRetail. And they also share loads on their colleague handle, @WeSayNisa

The Nisa logo is a trademark of Nisa Retail Limited. Throughout this article and in the podcast, the use of “Nisa” and “Nisa Retail” refers to Nisa Retail Limited.

Remember to hit subscribe and come back for part 2 in the next episode, number 38.

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