Nisa (retailer)

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Nisa Retail Limited
IndustryRetail, Wholesale
Founded1977; 43 years ago (1977)[1]
Area served
Key people
  • Dudley Ramsden and Peter Garvin, Founders[1]
  • Ken Towle, Chief Executive Officer[2]
RevenueDecrease £1.252 billion (2017)[3]
Number of employees
ParentThe Co-op

Nisa Retail Limited (/ˈnsə/ NY-sə;[5] formerly Nisa-Today's) is a brand and groceries wholesaler (or "symbol group") operating in the United Kingdom. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Co-operative Group Limited.[6] It was formerly a mutual organisation owned by its members and operating " a co-operative, using the collective buying power of the large group of members to negotiate deals with suppliers".[7]

Nisa logos
Nisa-Today's logo used from 2000s to 2008
Nisa-Today's logo used from 2008 to 2013

Nisa's headquarters and one of its ambient distribution centres are co-located in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. It also has distribution centres for temperature controlled products at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire; Harlow, Essex and Livingston, West Lothian.

As of 2016, Nisa Retail Limited supplies over 4,000 convenience shops and small supermarkets, including the Costcutter symbol group[4] and CK Foodstores in Wales.[8] According to Company Accounts submitted for year ending on 31 March 2014, Nisa Retail Limited has an estimated net worth of £30.77 million.[9]


Nisa Local shop in Bingley in June 2012
Nisa Extra shop in Rathfriland in October 2011

The present organisation can trace its history back to 1977 when Peter Garvin, a Yorkshire-based retailer, met Dudley Ramsden, a wholesaler whose family owned a supermarket in Grimsby. The company was called the Northern Independent Supermarkets Association and comprised thirty retailers, with a turnover of £20 million.

Garvin had established NISA some years earlier as a means of fighting the larger supermarket chains of the time but had struggled with the format and future growth. A chance meeting with Ramsden at an industry gathering at a hotel in Bawtry allowed Ramsden to see the potential of the idea.[10][11]

In 2011, Nisa Retail Limited opened its new distribution centre for Scotland in Livingston.

Nisa agreed to be purchased by the Co-operative Group in November 2017.[12] The acquisition was subject to regulatory approval by the Competition and Markets Authority, and was completed in May 2018.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Strategy & Structure". Nisa Retail Limited. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  2. ^ Rebecca Harvey (9 May 2018). "Nisa appoints new CEO as Co-op Group completes its acquisition". Co-operative News.
  3. ^ Read, Nick. "Nisa Retail Annual Reports and Accounts" (PDF). Nisa. Nisa Retail Ltd. p. 16.
  4. ^ a b "Meet The Key People". Nisa Retail Limited. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Nisa is pronounced 'Nicer', company confirms". York Vision. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Co-op completes acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited". (Press release). 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Local retailers planning merger". BBC News on 10 May 2006.
  8. ^ "CK's Supermarkets | Your local, independent food retailer". C K's Supermarkets. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Nisa Retail Limited". Endole Insights.
  10. ^ "Peter Garvin".
  11. ^ "Tributes for Ramsden as he decides to retire".
  12. ^ Julia Kollewe (13 November 2017). "Co-op buys Nisa for £143m after members back takeover". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Butler, Sarah (6 April 2018). "Co-op plans to take over failing schools in north of England". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2018.

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