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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
David Laister

Third Nisa store addition in six months for retail entrepreneur buying up former Co-op sites

A prominent Grimsby convenience store has been rebranded under new ownership.

Leicestershire retail entrepreneur Sanjay Karavadra has taken on his third former Co-op store in six months, at Bradley Crossroads.

It comes after a strategic review saw the Manchester-headquartered operator decide to sell up, only for it to become a member of its Scunthorpe-based Nisa subsidiary - retaining many Co-op lines through the group supply agreement. Mr Karavadra aims to more than double the store count in 2023, with a view to further growing the portfolio in the mid-term.

Read more: Nisa to slash prices after multi-million pound investment from parent company Co-op

The first store launched in Millom, Cumbria in June with the second opening in Crook, north of Darlington in November. All trade as Nisa, the evolved brand launched by Grimsby businessman Dudley Ramsden 45 years ago.

Mr Karavadra said he is refining the process to ensure it is as streamlined as possible and will allow him and his business partner to speed up acquisitions and store launches with multiple sites in the pipeline.

The former Co-op at Bradley Crossroads, Grimsby, has become a Nisa Local under new ownership. (Nisa)

“We have plans to keep growing our portfolio, but it is important that we get it right," he said. “The aim is to cut and paste the Co-op stores in terms of the staff and how they run the shop. Then add in the more local points by changing the products according to the area so that the store suits the customers and meets their specific needs and what they like to buy.”

Store number four is set to open in mid-January in Darwen with a further four in mind.

He said: “With each store launched we’ve learned something new, and the process is becoming smoother each time. We now need to ensure we have the right system in place so that going forward, with each purchase the transition is slick. Our aim is to get the store, switch it over to a Nisa and get everything ready inside and out within a few days. It’s important that the process doesn’t take too long because our customers are already there, and we want them to be able to depend on us.

"We have lots of ideas in our head, but we are still learning and will keep refining until we get it perfect.”

Food and drinks to go have been key additions at all sites with the installation of Costa Coffee and Tango Ice Blast and more.

A spokesperson for Co-op, said: ““Co-op regularly reviews its locations, like all retailers, and the decision to sell any store is only taken after careful consideration. The sale of our Grimsby store is in no way a reflection on the hard work and commitment of colleagues. A key priority has been to safeguard jobs and support colleagues who will transfer under TUPE regulations to the new operator. The store will open as a Nisa Local store, operated by an independent Nisa retailer, and will continue to have access to Co-op’s everyday essentials and extensive range which offers great quality and value, conveniently. We would like to thank the community for its support of the store.”

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