Figures published this week (24 March) show that Bestway Wholesale revenues grew 13% to £2.3bn in 2019 from £2.1bn in 2018 as the company invested in technology and supply chain to drive value into the future of its business.
Volumes were positively influenced by the continued focus on customer channels to deliver value-add including investment into best-one symbol group, the Multiple Accounts division and Xtra Local Retail Club. Sales to symbol grew 3.3%, as investment into the ‘My Rewards’ rebate scheme continued, to help symbol customers increase margins and profitability whilst driving loyalty back into the business.
Revenue also improved by the inclusion of the full year impact of Bestway Retail and its 629 Franchise and Corporate stores in 2019 compared to three months in 2018.
In a year where the management team focused on incorporating the Bestway Retail brands (Bargain Booze, Select Convenience, Central Convenience Stores and Wine Rack), Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale Dawood Pervez (pictured) commended his team for their commitment in successfully embedding over 600 new stores into the business in a rapid space of time, and highlighted that the results were exceptional against a backdrop of tough trading conditions, economic turbulence, wage inflation, and a number of one-off exceptional costs that were absorbed resulting from the Bestway Retail acquisition.
Pervez said: “It is well documented that Bestway Retail required stabilising and re-energising during a year of economic turbulence (Brexit), and legislative change across the National Living Wage. Market conditions for the wholesale sector also intensified during this period with Tesco, Morrisons and Asda entering the wholesale market place.
“However, the year was also one where we invested heavily into the future of the Wholesale business to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry. Our commitment to continuous customer service improvement led to a growing emphasis on designated delivery hubs to offer better and quicker service, underpinned by an ongoing programme of investment into technology and data driven solutions.
“This investment led to a growing online and digital business, as we look to strategically become a progressive, technology-led company that helps its customers and supply partners to optimise opportunity in the years’ ahead”.
Bestway Vans Direct, which was also acquired midway through the prior financial year, saw a 362% increase in sales to £43.6m, largely through investment in talent and the company’s own tablet-based app software which enables Vans to offer a service for suppliers that includes NPD drives, surveying and POS placement, whilst delivering to 20,000 retailers every two weeks.