Monday 27th April 2020
Bestway Wholesale welcomes new customers and continues to campaign for fair supply of stock to the independent channel
Bestway Wholesale, the UK’s largest independent Wholesaler, has opened its doors once more to new customer registrations for caterers and pet businesses, whilst the Bestway team continues to campaign for and protect supply to independent retailers.
After experiencing shortages in the supply chain due to the pressure applied through the supermarket multiples in order to keep their shelves stocked, managing director of Bestway, Dawood Pervez explains how Bestway is working with suppliers to ensure supply to local communities through the independent retail supply chain which Bestway largely leads:
“We know how tough it has been for many operators to secure desperately needed stocks and supplies of products. We’ve been working with our suppliers and campaigning on behalf of independent retail stores and community shops to stress the importance of supply through our sector, so that vital products can directly reach people’s homes whilst staying local in the face of social isolation.
“The role of the independent local community store has never been more important. Local convenience stores lost a lot of footfall when price marked packs came off tobacco products, but now is the time for them to regain some of that footfall with consumer shopping habits changing. It’s an opportunity for retailers to reconnect with the communities they serve and for many this will transform their businesses so long as they stick to recommended PMP and RRP on products as much as possible and do not try to profiteer.”
Whilst supply of retail stock remains an ongoing concern, new customer registrations for retail customers remains closed, to prioritise availability for existing loyal customers and deliveries to the most loyal customers. Meanwhile due to continued supply of catering pack-sizes and pet products, Bestway has been able to open registrations to these customers.
“We are now able to open our doors again to catering and pet customers and this is largely down to the wonderful team we have in place and the actions taken to enable social distancing in our depots and our looking after of colleague safety. As a result, our absence due to Coronavirus is now below 6%,” Pervez comments.
“We have also introduced an incentive bonus to compensate our awesome customer-facing colleagues and thank them for their hard work and commitment.” The bonus will reward customer-facing colleagues with a 10% bonus for their hours worked, backdated to the start of the Coronavirus outbreak in March.
Bestway has also taken the decision to register Local Authorities and NHS trusts who are in desperate need of products to support those who are vulnerable or shielding due to the large number of queries received. “The next step we are about to launch will support our retailers in offering vital food-boxes to vulnerable people in the communities they operate in,” Pervez adds.
A huge number of Bestway’s retail members including best-one retailers, Select Convenience and Bargain Booze franchisees, have already gone out of their way to support local communities and Bestway has managed to fast-track enrolment of stores onto the Uber Eats convenience delivery programme so that more people at home can order vital groceries direct to their door with over 2,000 orders being placed in the last few weeks alone.
The best-one team has also worked with organisation ‘MyPubShop’ to offer ranging and planning advice to any catering establishments now providing a convenience offer in towns where there have been food shortages.
Dawood concludes: “Although we are managing our supply chain efficiently to avoid issues for customers, we do continue to face issues with supply and whilst I thank the suppliers who have whole-heartedly supported us, I ask that those who continue to base volumes on pre-Coronavirus numbers to consider the new-normal of shopping habits and our reach and the number of people we support and therefore make us a priority.
“We are receiving urgent requests every day: from supporting refugee charities in London, to helping community stores obtain stock in rural locations through the Plunkett Foundation and are getting heavily involved with DEFRA to support the vulnerable and to raise the issue of poor availability into the sector. We believe that ethically it is our responsibility to support other’s in their times of need and we continue to work with organisations including the Felix project who are doing an amazing job of trying to provide food to foodbanks and projects in and around central London.”