Bestway also confirmed that “a small number of Batleys colleagues based in our ordering team are under consultation”

Cash & carry giant Bestway has closed three depots as part of its shift towards becoming more of a delivered wholesaler, while head of marketing and digital Salih Sheikh has left the business.

Bestway confirmed it had closed its Perth depot in the summer after migrating the site’s delivered customers to its Dundee and Edinburgh branches.

It said this was part of the year-long Depot Hub Project that has seen it convert 23 of its now 62 remaining depots to delivery hubs, which will process all of its delivered wholesale orders. A spokeswoman explained the Perth depot had very few collect customers and so it “made sense to close it once delivered customers had been moved”.

The closure of its Bestway and Batleys depots in Cardiff comes in the wake of its purchase of Cardiff Hadfield Road from Blakemore Wholesale in June 2018. The spokeswoman said that the 150,000 sq ft site “lent itself well to driving efficiency and productivity for the business in Cardiff and the surrounding area”.

The wholesaler confirmed that Salih Sheikh - son of Younus Sheikh, one of Bestway founder Sir Anwar Pervez’s chief lieutenants in setting up the business - had left his role this week. The spokeswoman said he remained a shareholder but had “been given a fantastic opportunity to become chief marketing officer for a start-up company within the food industry”.

“Salih is looking for ways to grow and develop, and plans to build on his experience to benefit Bestway in the future, enabling Bestway to have better insight into exploring new avenues through the food delivery market,” she added.

His responsibilities have passed to Mindy Mondair, who takes up the new role of head of trade marketing, reporting into trading director Kenton Burchell. The communications and events team will now report directly to MD Dawood Pervez.

Bestway also confirmed that “a small number of Batleys colleagues based in our ordering team are under consultation”. The spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment further as this was an ongoing process.

There is strong speculation in the trade that Bestway is making changes to mitigate against a recent decline in profits.

“As with many businesses within the industry, we are seeing an impact on profit due to the prevailing economic and political uncertainty around Brexit, rising NLW costs, business rates and the costs to implement new legislation,” said the spokeswoman.

“Whilst market conditions are challenging, we recognise the need to transform the business from a traditional cash & carry to a collect and delivered operation for retail, pet and catering customers, and are continuing to invest in the business which impacted on profitability last year. Developing the business to meet the needs of customers and ensuring operational efficiency remains at the heart.”