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Major national food and grocery wholesaler Bestway has restructured its senior roles focused on supporting retail channel customers, consolidating this function within the Bestway Retail division.  This change now brings responsibility for the Best-one symbol group into Bestway Retail alongside its role as the centre for the Bargain Booze franchise as well as the company-owned stores under the Central fascia.

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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:


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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.

With Dawood Pervez now in place at the head of its wholesale operations, Bestway has made some key customer-focused management appointments, as reported in the Grocer magazine.  These include the promotion of Tony Holmes to the newly created role of Retail Director, while David Livingstone takes on a new role as head of catering.

New roles to target different customer requirements

These appointments are aiming to bring a clearer definition and focus to two 'customer' teams within the Bestway business, each targeting the specific and varying needs of the wholesaler's key B2B customer groups, in independent retailing and catering respectively.  The move is being complemented by a depot prioritisation project through which all 65 depots in the business are being better aligned to meet the needs of their specific customer mixes.

Andy Cresswell appointed Chief Retail Officer at Bestway Retail

Following the acquisition of the Bargain Booze franchise network in 2018, this delivered wholesale operation has been re-named Bestway Retail (formerly Conviviality).  With the departure of Managing Director David Robinson, Andy Cresswell has been recruited to head-up this division.  Bringing extensive experience of UK convenience from previous roles, Andy Cresswell was most recently Managing Director of forecourt operator MRH, prior to its acquisition by MFG.

Commenting on Bestway's enhanced customer focus, Dawood Pervez, Managing Director commented:

'We're committed to ensuring we will always deliver the best service to our customers, thus providing a clear solution for everyone - whether that's a franchise proposition through Bestway Retail, symbol groups and retail clubs through Bestway Wholesale and Batleys cash & carry's, full-service catering through BB Foodservice and Drinks Express or a collect catering range for customers in depot.'


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