What a year it has been for Bestway. The classy cash and carry operator climbed from sixth to fourth position in The Grocer&'s Big 30 wholesaler ranking, thanks to its acquisition of Batleys for £100m in January 2005. A year on and it&'s making the merger work, yet has not let that distraction affect its ability to provide customers with initiatives that improve their bottom line.
That deal made Bestway the UK&'s second largest cash and carry operator with 49 depots, a turnover of £1.7bn and 100,000 retail and catering customers.
Bestway has a clear strategy of helping its customers become better retailers and its marketing and trading are all designed to make that a reality.
Its own label range, Best-in, comprises more than 700 products and offers an average extra 5% profit margin compared with other brands. No wonder it was shortlisted in the Best Own Label range category. A new-look range will be rolled out during this year. The aim is for Best-in to become the number one own label for the independent sector.
Judges were impressed with the commitment to staff training, retention and career development, with programmes covering everything from graduate training and management development to the introduction of service improvement teams and performance awards. It doesn&'t stop there - this year, Bestway will introduce an employee survey to further boost retention.
It&'s not just The Grocer Gold judges who have been impressed by Bestway. Last autumn, founder Sir Anwar Pervez was voted winner of The Grocer Cup for Outstanding Business Achievement by our readers.
Only companies listed in the Big 30 were eligible to enter this award. The three outstanding companies shortlisted against Bestway were Parfetts, Blueheath and 2005 winner Brakes.