Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nisa to see you!

A while ago I made a HPANWO TV film about the opening of a new Tesco convenience store in Oxford just a few doors along from a branch of Nisa. I was worried that the mega-corporation of Tesco would put the small cooperative independent shop out of business, see: This came at a bad time too because The People's Supermarket had just shut down, as I explain in the film (Here's a news story about TPS from a few months earlier; you'll recognize the big bald bloke in the photo: However, I said that we should not give up hope and I'm glad I did because I've come across this episode of the BBC radio show Wake up to Money; the relevant part is at 18.30: It features an interview with Neil Turton, the chief executive of Nisa Retail Ltd, in which he announced a ten percent rise in sales profits. He was also interviewed on BBC TV's business news early this morning, but that programme was not recorded online. Turton credits his franchise's success to the fact that people are looking to shop locally more and more. Of course the corporate transnationals have tried to bust that market with their own chains of corner shops, hence my film New Tesco, but according to Turton they have failed to compete because the independently-owned Nisa stores with their self-employed empowered owners are far better at catering to the subtleties of their customers' desires. One thing he does not mention, but I wonder if he's thinking about it: could this also be because more and more consumers include ethics on their priority list when they choose a retailer? They already understand the issues I raised in the film and deliberately avoid the Sainsburys and Tesco convenience stores because they're concerned about the damage these institutions do to our human economic wellbeing. If so then this is excellent news that we should delight in and take a lot of heart from. Turton said: "The weekly family grocery haul at suburban superstores has declined. These days, people don't always plan what they'll be eating for dinner that same evening." Well I know what Nisa had for breakfast this morning... Tesco!  

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