The Nisa-branded forecourt concept is proving a great success, with six retailers fully branded and more in the pipeline, according to Nisa’s format and development director Raj Krishan.

The Nisa forecourt partnership package, in which Greenergy supplies the fuel, was launched a year ago, and aims to provide retailers with a straightforward, and transparent fuel supply deal, complemented by the Nisa-branded convenience offer, extending the Nisa brand to the pole sign, pumps and canopy.

"It is a revolutionary concept, but the benefits of the deal are beginning to be understood by forecourt retailers," says Krishan. "All the forecourt retailers we’ve signed up have enjoyed double-digit fuel growth since joining. On top of that they have significantly increased their profitability.

"They’re all existing, well-established filling stations that have sold fuel under various oil company brands. The Nisa/Greenergy package was a new brand, unproven and untried, but with a very good plan. The combined expertise of Nisa on convenience stores and Greenergy on fuel supply convinced them it was a good route forward. It is a compelling deal and the two elements complement each other."

Krishan says while his team are in talks with around 50 forecourt retailers, it’s not an easy sell because of existing contracts. "Most retailers sign between three and five years. We have to wait for these contracts to run their course. We keep in touch with the retailers on a weekly basis and show them what they could be doing, so they can see the margin benefits. But what they can’t quantify until they’ve moved are the sales benefits. If a retailer is with an oil major a key hesitation would be concern for losing card volume. That would be true, but on the other hand they make little or no margin on that anyway, so what does that matter? With our retailers we’ve seen card sales go, but they’ve been replaced with an increase in sales, and with more profitability. Why be a busy fool?

"Customers are used to buying supermarket-branded fuel, and Spar now launching a package like ours is a good thing consumers will think they can trust the convenience marketplace to provide them with a good fuel offer.

"We’re pleased we’ve six happy retailers who are now advocates for the package. A retailer telling a retailer is a powerful message."

Independent forecourt retailer Joan Raw of Kenworth Ltd said: "Our partnership with Greenergy and Nisa has transformed our business. Profits are up by 56% at our Wheatley Hill site."

Nisa retailers and management were out in force at Nisa’s annual exhibition, which took place at the National Agricultural Centre in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, last month. Nisa has invested £1.55m to launch a national brand campaign, featuring the strapline ’whatever you want’, looking ahead to a bumper summer of sport.