Irish wholesale and distribution giant BWG is in the process of winding up BWG UK following the sale of its remaining Key Lekkerland businesses, but intends to expand its remaining UK interests. Chief executive Leo Crawford said its Bargain Booze franchise operation and Spar wholesaler for the south west Appleby Westward were seeing rapid growth this year.
There are now a total of 450 Bargain Booze and Thorougoods franchises, with 55 new recruits in 2003. The division will be holding a roadshow in Swindon on May 6 with a target of recruiting at least 20 new stores, said Crawford.
Appleby Westward is serving an extra 10 stores, up from 325 at the end of 2002.
The Bellevue cash and carry business in Scotland is also performing well, said Crawford, who stated no further disposals were in the offing.
BWG UK managing director Tony Overton said it would close its offices at the former Goodwin's depot in Stoke-on-Trent by June.
BWG UK once comprised Key Lekkerland wholesalers Goodwins, EV Saxton, T&A Symonds and AR Daunt, but he said: "There was a review after the MBO of BWG group from Pernod Ricard in July, and UK wholesale was designated as a non-core business."
Goodwins was rebranded Thorougoods and became a dedicated ambient supplier to Bargain Booze, and in November T&A Symonds was sold back to the Symonds family
AC Ward is buying Essex based EV Saxton and WM & HM Young is buying Nottingham based AR Daunt.

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