Source: The Grocer/Alice Leader

It made its debut at the wholesaler’s first Best-one and Bargain Booze hybrid 

Bestway has launched a food-to-go concept called Grab & Go at its first Best-one and Bargain Booze hybrid store.

Making its debut at the Kingswood, Bristol store, Grab & Go would act as Bestway’s new “halo brand” for food to go as it looked to “heighten its approach” to the category, said retail director Jamie Davison, speaking at the Bestway Retail Showcase this week.

Davison said the business wanted to work with more direct-to-store suppliers to expand the range, including bubble tea, milkshakes, and popcorn. It currently works with a range of suppliers, including Country Choice, which provides goods such as toasties, pastries and pizza. 

“It’s made us revisit and to be more proactive in this area because, in the past, we’ve not really wrapped a concept around food to go. It’s just been lots of different components,” said Davison. 

“It’s us saying as a business that we are far more open to having a brand concept that allows us to put more energy into growing food to go.”

Davison added that as Bestway revamped its food to go offer, the range would vary depending on a store’s location, demographic, and mission, such as a forecourt site compared with a neighbourhood store.

The Grab & Go launch forms part of Bestway’s first Best-one and Bargain Booze that launched last month.

Previously trading under its Central Convenience fascia, the 1,247 sq ft store was already showing a double-digit increase in footfall and circa 20% increase in sales, following a £125,000 refit. Bargain Booze is expected to be the primary driver of growth, the wholesaler added.

Rather than a dual-branded fascia like its Costcutter hybrid formats, the Bargain Booze branding has been displayed on the store’s windows to highlight its off-licence proposition within it.

Davison said: “We wanted Best-one to be the primary brand and wanted to test if you don’t brand it on the fascia, what equally happens to performance internally as well.”

Bestway said it was in talks with several retailers who want to replicate the format. The store is also showcasing Bestway’s new Best-in own label range.

Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez said: “We are very encouraged by the early indicators from the Kingswood store, which in just four weeks is delivering above expectation, with sales still rising.

“The store pivots the Best-one value offer, which is what we have been focusing on to help retailers drive value and improve margins. It dials up the messaging with compelling selling zones and missions for grocery and fresh, alongside our own label range ‘Best-in’.

“The evolution of the Best-one store follows on from our successful and market-leading hybrid approach where we have a pipeline of stores in the next 12 months.

“By applying the same principles to Best-one in line with the Best-one proposition (that not only includes Bargain Booze but the multi-award-winning Best-in own label range), we are driving transformative change into convenience retailing, and reinforcing the innovation, value and opportunity that our hybrid model offers to retailers.”