andy cresswell bestway

Source: Bestway Wholesale

Cresswell intends to take time out before considering his next role

Bestway Retail chief retail officer Andy Cresswell is set to leave the business early next year.

Cresswell will step down at the end of January 2021, having served a six-month notice period.

He joined Bestway in January last year with responsibility for Bestway Retail, the franchise and company-owned stores division, which evolved from the Conviviality Retail business it bought in 2018, and which is supplied from the former Conviviality facility in Crewe. His role was later expanded to include Best-one and multiple accounts.

The Grocer understands Cresswell intends to take time out before considering his next role.

A recruitment process is underway for the new position of head of stores.

The role will involve running the company-operated estate, which is set to shrink from 180 stores to 140 following a disposal programme of underperforming shops, and support the continued development of the overall retail offer.

Paul Adams will continue to head up Best-one and Mark Simmonds, who has been at Bestway Retail since 2018, will focus on the franchise estate with both reporting into Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez.

“After two years, I’m pleased to leave Bestway Retail in a strong position and well equipped to face the challenges ahead,” said Cresswell. “I will leave behind an influential organisation that supports smaller retailers to grow. Bestway is valued, trusted and relied upon by suppliers and retailers alike, and I’m sure the organisation will continue to flourish in the years ahead. I wish the management team and all staff the very best for the future.”

Pervez added: “The Bestway Group board is immensely grateful to Andy for the stability and vision he has brought over the last two years. Much has changed at Bestway Retail under his tenure-ship and Andy has been a valued member of our leadership team and pivotal in driving our retail strategy over this period. We would like to extend our thanks to him for the significant developments which have taken place under his leadership and take this opportunity to wish him well for the future.”

Meanwhile, The Grocer can also reveal the wholesaler has kicked off a consultation over redundancies, which could affect up to 35 employees.

The roles at risk are understood to be clerical and administrative positions at head office, along with field sales staff.

“We need to put in place the right team structures, working practices and environments to enable us to meet the challenges that lie ahead to support our customers,” said Pervez. “We are currently looking to ensure that the number of people affected within our business is minimised and, therefore, this restructure will only impact on a small number of colleagues.

“A consultation process has begun, and we will ensure all those who are affected are treated with fairness and respect through what we know will be a difficult time for them.”