Bestway shakes up wholesale team as it review retail business

Bestway, the  independent cash and carry and wholesaler that acquired Conviviality’s retail businesses last year, has shaken up its wholesale business team, as it undergoes a ‘root and branch’ review of its retail businesses.

As part of the move, the support for franchise shops and company-owned stores that were previously overseen by the Wholesale team will now be looked after by the Bestway Retail team, which oversees the Bargain Booze symbol group, Wine Rack and Select One.

Bestway Wholesale retail director Tony Holmes, who looked after the retail sales for Best-one symbol group, retail multiple accounts, is understood to have already left the business, with Bestway Wholesale director of retail and own label trading Edward Smeaton leaving for a new role heading up Lidl’s own label and brand buying.

At the company’s Drinks at home Exhibition in Manchester last month, the company told TalkingRetail that it was conducting a root and branch review of its ‘stabilised’ retail business in order to find out what each of its stores should concentrate on – discount drinks, premium drinks, convenience with food-to-do or fresh food – as it moved to a more mission-led approach.

Chief retail officer Andy Cresswell told Talking Retail the data-driven exercise, which is expected to be concluded by August, could result in the group having fewer fascias, particularly for its convenience offer. Currently it has discount alcohol brand Bargain Booze, more premium drinks brand Wine Rack, and three convenience formats, including the 100-plus company-owned Central stores acquired from Conviviality, Select Convenience and Thoroughgoods.

“We will still be booze-led on a lot of sites, but equally we have to try to take the opportunity that convenience gives us, and that will build us a five year plan,” he told the publication.

In March, the company appointed an interim trading director to oversee product buying across its booze retail, in the latest in a series of internal moves, following the company’s acquisition of the Conviviality business in April 2018 for £7.25 million.


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