Bargain Booze

Bestway Retail lost more than £250k in the first three months following its £7.25m purchase of Conviviality Retail in April.

Accounts published on Companies House this week cover the period from the April deal until Bestway’s end of year on 30 June. In that time the Bargain Booze business recorded a pre-tax loss of £267k on sales of £80.5m.

Bestway Retail MD David Robinson told The Grocer the losses were not as severe as it had expected and insisted the business was stabilising from the turmoil of the collapse of previous owner Conviviality.

“It was a period of restabilising the business; having lost crucial licences for efficient trade, we had to first re-obtain these before our focus quickly shifted to improving availability, reinstating deliveries and working with franchisees to reassure them of our stability. We also put in extra financial incentives for franchisees to help them over this period,” he said.

“The stabilisation of the business has shown in our performance, which continues to be encouraging and in line with expectations. There are plans in place to further improve and develop as we bring together the scale and know-how of both businesses.”

Robinson added that the business was “making progress with suppliers, many of whom understand what we can deliver as two businesses brought together and are therefore supporting us with synergies and investment”.

Availability was the biggest initial challenge, explained Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez.

“Availability has now improved, although this wasn’t helped by supplier availability issues throughout the summer. We also gave Bestway Retail customers access to our Best-one Inspired own-label ranges and to our chilled and frozen ranges.”