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Aiming to fill one of the gaps left in the UK route-to-market by the collapse of Palmer & Harvey, major cash & carry operator Bestway is launching a van sales division, to create a direct-to-store service in key categories such as snacks and confectionery for independent retailers.

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It has been announced that the midlands-based symbol group Select & Save, with a membership of 78 stores, has selected Bestway Wholesale as its key 'buy & supply' partner to replace Nisa, ending that long-term relationship.

Five-year initial agreement

The new partnership, which will see Select & Save serviced as part of Bestway's multiple account division, will run for five years in the first instance.  Under the agreement Select & Save stores will receive ambient categories by delivery from Bestway's nationwide network of depots, while chilled and fresh will be supplied from its dedicated distribution centre in Coventry.

Select & Save gearing up for expansion

This new supply deal comes as Select & Save has added significant new fire-power to its management team; with Andrew King (formerly One Stop franchise director) appointed as managing director and Galen Levi (also formerly with One Stop) to the new role as trading director.  These appointments are to bring new focus to driving recruitment and expansion of the group, and to sharpening the commercial proposition to meet the challenges of the changing convenience retailing market.

James Hall, Symbol Development Director at Bestway commented:

'We are delighted to be working with Select & Save and would like to welcome its members to Bestway's multiple account division.  With Bestway's scale and expertise we can improve Select & Save's sales and margin and deliver a consistent supply chain solution that provides members with exactly what they want, and a little bit more.'

Major UK cash & carry wholesaler, Bestway has expanded its dedicated foodservice delivery operation, re-launching it under a new name: BB Foodservice (previously Bestway Batley Foodservice).  With its foodservice sales currently accounting for only 7% of Bestway's total turnover, the business has set out the goal of building this to 20% in the medium term future.

Operating through 15 hub depots

As part of the re-launch, Bestway has selected its 15 best performing foodservice depots to operate as the bases for a dedicated fleet of BB Foodservice delivery vehicles, servicing customers with a full range of multi-temperature product categories; effectively offering a 'one-stop-shop' for catering businesses.

Providing national coverage

The 15 depots are located across the UK in: Aberdeen, Perth, Glasgow, Edinburgh (x2), Newcastle, Cleveland, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gillingham, Southampton and Plymouth.

Martin Race, Managing Director, Bestway Wholesale commented:

'For years wholesalers have been too preoccupied with what their competitors are doing to stop and ask their customers what they want.  So we listened, and we put what we learned to good use.  GG Foodservice is here to deliver a local, more personal service.  Our support doesn't end at the door.  Whatever our customers need, our local territory sales managers are just a phone call away.'

Bestway Wholesale has revealed that its new ‘Best-one’ own-label range has resulted in strong sales growth against the previous ‘Best-in’ brand.

‘Best-one’ replaces ‘Best-in’

Bestway launched its newly updated own-label range the beginning of the month, replacing the ‘Best-in’ brand. The new ‘Best-one’ label aligns with the identity of its symbol group and the new design has been introduced to 150 bestselling lines, with another 150 changing over by the end of the year.

Products have been reformulated to offer higher quality and a new premium range called ‘Best-one Inspired’ is set to launch next month.

Growth of 40% in volume sales

The group has said that initial tacking of the launch products in the first two weeks saw overall growth against the previous Best-in brand of 26% in value and 40% in volume sales. The decision to improve the 150 best-selling lines, such as its energy drink, was a contributor in the strong sales growth. Bestway also offered 40% profit to retailers to drive uptake during launch. While Bestway prepare to upgrade the second 150 lines, suppliers ought to think about their branded equivalents.

Ed Smeaton, Director of Trading, said: “The results thus far are extremely positive with growth across all categories. To have significant double digit growth at this early stage from unaffiliated retailers is fantastic news and I am confident that this growth will continue as more best-one products hit retailers’ shelves and we crank up promotions within out best-one and Xtra Local symbol and retail clubs.”

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