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At its annual Stoneleigh trade show Nisa has reported that, since its acquisition by Co-op in May 2018, recruitment of new stores to its wholesale distribution network has increased by 25%.  Boosted by access to the improved ranges Co-op brings, Nisa has successfully recruited 1,006 stores, compared with around 800 in the previous financial year.

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Accounts posted with Companies House for Bestway Group show that sales at Bestway Wholesale fell 2.5% on a like-for-like basis, ending at £2.08bn for the year to 30 June 2018.  Although declining tobacco sales have continued to depress sales, the wholesaler successfully expanded its customer base in the year, benefitting from the turmoil in the sector following the collapse of Palmer & Harvey and Costcutter's consequent supply issues.

Bestway Retail contributed £80.4m

Acquired on 7 April, the Conviviality Retail business (Bargain Booze etc) now trades as Bestway Retail, and in the almost three months of the accounting period in which it was part of Bestway Wholesale, this operation generated turnover of £80.4m.  As well as the Bargain Booze and Select Convenience franchise networks, including over 600 stores, Bestway now controls over 207 corporate stores under the Central Convenience and Wine Rack banners.

'New' channels growing strongly

Alongside the core retail channel business Bestway Wholesale continues to drive development amongst foodservice customers, with sales in this channel in 2017/18 up 7.6% to £158.1m.  Meanwhile online sales continued to leap ahead, with the weekly value of online ordering up 12.0%, and averaging £26m a month.  The total number of online customers reached 62,000, and now nearly 25% of all online transactions are conducted through the Bestway mobile app.

Acquired depots and van sales offer future growth opportunities

As well as acquiring Conviviality Retail, 2018 also saw Bestway acquire two additional cash & carry depots divested by Blakemore Wholesale and the van sales operation formerly belonging to Palmer & Harvey.  The business is confident that these provide complementary assets and capability for Bestway Wholesale that will enhance the customer offering and drive growth going forward.

Bestway Wholesale @ IGD Live - 6 & 7 November

Hear from Dawood Pervez, Managing Director, and Salih Sheikh, Marketing Director, on how Bestway is driving B2B capability both in depot and online:


IGD Live 2019

6-7 November, London

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Leading grocery and foodservice wholesaler, Bestway has appointed Kenton Burchell as the Trading Director for its core cash & carry-based division Bestway Wholesale.  This back-fills the gap left by Dawood Pervez who moved up to the role of Managing Director for both the Wholesale and Retail divisions in December 2018.

Wholesale and Retail trading teams now working to harmonise terms

Following the acquisition of Conviviality Retail (now renamed Bestway Retail) in April 2018, Bestway has continued to maintain two trading teams handling Wholesale and Retail business respectively.  However, the two teams are now looking to co-ordinate activities increasingly to optimise the offer for the customers of both divisions and to achieve synergy benefits.  As the former Commercial & Logistics Director of Bestway Retail (having joined Conviviality in 2014), Kenton Burchell is well-placed to help realise these joint opportunities going forward.

Mark Owen joins Bestway Retail as the 'opposite number'

With a background from the Co-op Group and regional co-op Scotmid, Mark Owen has been appointed as the interim Trading Director for Bestway Retail reporting into Andy Cresswell, recently appointed Chief Retail Officer.  Mark now has responsibility for the product range in Bargain Booze and Wine Rack franchises and corporate stores, as well as the corporate stores operating under the Select Convenience and Central Convenience fascias.

Wholesale distributor and Co-op subsidiary, Nisa has expanded its field team of retail development managers by more than 40% since the beginning of 2019, to bring increased support and contact to its independent retail customers across the UK.

RDM team expanded by eight to 28

Retail development managers act as a key interface between Nisa head office and Nisa retailers, liaising with central functions, such as IT and logistics, to ensure Nisa service is efficient and effective.  Through regular scheduled visits RDMs work to retain retailers and drive loyalty by advising them on how to optimise opportunities for increased sales and profitability and how to develop their businesses further.

More RDMs = more contact between retailers and centre = better discipline

The additional RDM resource now means retailers will get more guranteed personal contact with Nisa, helping them to evolve, grow and innovate in their stores.  Moreover, the improved contact will help to educate retailers on and embed the key commercial priorities that the Nisa Co-op relationship is now developing.

Nigel Gray, Nisa Retail Director commented:

'Since Nisa was acquired by Co-op in May last year, it has focused on combining the best of both organisations to offer something new and exciting to independent retailers and commercial wholesalers across the UK - stability, the benefits of scale and a market-leading own brand and fresh offer -  all of which gives Nisa retailers a real competitive advantage.'


Following a year of unprecedented changes in ownership and supply, we show how the UK symbol sector has been altered, with new influences now taking a major role in shaping its future.
We review the outlook for Costco over the next five years and identify the company' top growth markets, including US, Canada, Mexico and UK. We look in-depth at its global strategic objectives across its wholesale and club store estate and how it is investing in its ecommerce operations, enhancing its technology and developing its range as it looks to grow revenues beyond US$200bn by 2023.
We profile the recently formed Unitas Wholesale buying group, created by the merger of Landmark and Today's.
We review Morrisons newly released half year results and explore the next steps in its drive to build a stronger and broader business.

We share five key themes from the IGD Wholesaling 2017 conference, identifying the influences shaping channel engagement both now and for the future.

Wembley is Costco's 28th, and latest UK, warehouse, offering an excellent showcase of how the wholesaler targets a mixed customer base with a focus on value and quality on bulk goods.

6-7 November, London
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