Nisa (retailer)

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Nisa Retail Limited
Type Private limited company, Retailers' co-operative
Industry Retail
Founded 1977 (1977)[1]
Headquarters Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Area served UK
Key people
Revenue £1.5 billion (2012)[3]
Members 974[3]
Employees 213[3]

Nisa Retail Limited (formerly Nisa-Today's) is a brand and buying group (or "symbol group") of independent retailers (primarily small grocery shops) and wholesalers in the United Kingdom. It is 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".[4]

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

Its headquarters and ambient distribution depot are located in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. It also has distribution depots for temperature controlled products at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Harlow, Essex.

As of 2012, Nisa Retail Limited represents over 1080 registered shareholders operating over 4,000 convenience stores and small supermarkets, including the Costcutter symbol group.[3] According to Company Accounts submitted for year ending on 31 March 2013, Nisa Retail Limited has an estimated net worth of £40 million.[5] In 2011, Nisa Retail Limited opened its new distribution centre for Scotland in Livingston.


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 30 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.[6][7]


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