Members of the Nisa convenience store group have marginally voted in favour of a £143m takeover bid by Co-operative Group.
Some 75.79% of Nisa members voted for the deal, a fraction above the 75% support required for the bid to succeed.
It comes amid mounting worries over the future of small retail outlets, especially in the aftermath of Tesco’s controversial move to acquire wholesaler Booker.
Co-op’s purchase of Nisa will likely be completed early next spring once approval has been granted by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
Nisa claims the deal will bring benefits for its members, including “access to greater scale, the Co-op’s award-winning range and own label proposition”.
“Members will still enjoy the independence to operate their stores as they wish, and will be able to remain part of a member-owned organisation within the growing UK convenience retail sector,” said Nisa in a statement.
“The convenience store environment is changing rapidly, and is unrecognisable from that which existed when Nisa was founded more than 40 years ago. Co-op will add buying power and product range to our offering, while respecting our culture of independence,” added Nisa chairman Peter Hartley.
Last month, Nisa reported relatively positive trading for the 26 weeks to 1 October 2017, with total sales up 12.4% to £728m.