Bestway Wholesale is again accepting new customer registrations for caterers and pet businesses but not for retailers.
After experiencing shortages of stock, Bestway is working with suppliers to ensure supply to local communities through the independent retail supply chain.
Managing director Dawood Pervez said: “We know how tough it has been for many operators to secure desperately needed supplies of products. We’ve been 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 rsp on products as much as possible and do not try to profiteer.”
While supply of retail stock remains a concern, continued supply of catering pack sizes and pet products means that 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%,” said managing director Dawood Pervez.
“We have also introduced an incentive bonus to compensate our awesome customer-facing colleagues and thank them for their hard work and commitment.”
Customer-facing colleagues will be rewarded with a 10% bonus, backdated to the start of the Coronavirus outbreak in March.
Bestway has also taken the decision to register Local Authorities and NHS trusts that are in desperate need of products to support those who are vulnerable or shielding. “The next step will support our retailers in offering vital food boxes to vulnerable people in the communities they operate in,” said Pervez.
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. Furthermore, 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 – over 2,000 orders have been 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 said: “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 wholeheartedly 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 others 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.”
Tel: Bestway Wholesale 020-8453 1234