Wholesaler and convenience retail specialist Nisa Retail has announced a “positive” first half trading period with an increase in sales of £728 million, up 12.4% on last year, along with the appointment of Arnu Misra as interim chief executive.

Sales at the business were driven by strong growth in new stores and new member recruitment, with 409 new stores in the first half, compared to 188 last year.

According to the company, the strong member recruitment reflected “continued investment in our offer, a good return from marketing initiatives and Nisa’s award winning own label range”.
Nisa chairman, Peter Hartley, commented: “I am pleased to report strong trading in the first six months of the year.

“We have continued to serve our existing members well, and as a result new Member recruitment has shown significant gains.”

Elsewhere, following Nick Read’s decision to step down, Misra has been appointed interim chief executive of the business, having been an independent non-executive director at the company since November 2016.

Speaking of his appointment, Misra stated: “I have spent many years working in the retail industry and am looking forward to drawing on this experience to provide Nisa members with an exceptional value proposition that delivers for their customers.

“I am pleased to see strong new member recruitment in our H1 numbers and look forward to a busy final quarter, as the important festive trading seasons draws near.”

Hartley added: “We are delighted to have Arnu as interim CEO; he has a wealth of retail experience and is ideally placed to lead Nisa as we seek to optimise the service, benefits and opportunities we can bring our members.”