Bestway Northampton Depot

Source: Bestway

’The small cash & carry acts as a customer of the dark warehouse’

Bestway has launched a hybrid depot that combines a dark store and a cash & carry, The Grocer can reveal.

Located in Northampton, the 90,000 sq ft warehouse works by allowing the dark store element – which caters to delivered customers – to also supply, manage, and replenish stock for the cash & carry.

While Bestway owns other depots that jointly serve delivered and cash & carry retailers, the new hybrid model aims to control and improve availability by keeping the stock separate.

“The small cash & carry acts as a customer of the dark warehouse, whereby the dark store replenishes the cash & carry based on its sales,” said Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez.

“It means the dark warehouse is carrying enough stock to cope with the needs of the cash & carry, and the dark warehouse is in charge of managing its own stock.”

In terms of future plans, Pervez said this customer model could be used to launch smaller cash & carry depots in locations where Bestway doesn’t currently have a presence, which could become customers of the nearest Bestway distribution hub.

Meanwhile, Pervez told The Grocer that it planned to convert all 90 its own Central Convenience Stores to either Best-one or Costcutter within the next two years, having felt the latter brands were a sufficient representation of its convenience offer.

It trialled the switchover with five Central Convenience Stores last year, which saw the launch of its first Best-one company-owned store.

It plans to allocate the remaining stores to either Best-one or Costcutter based on location and shopper mission.

“If it’s a smaller and more impulse, food-to-go led, then we will put it into the Best-one mould,” said Pervez. “If it’s a neighbourhood convenience store with a high element of chilled, fresh and food for later sales, then we’ll put it into Costcutter.”

The conversion drive comes as Bestway Retail’s latest accounts at Companies House for the year ending 30 June 2022 showed the business closed 35 “loss-making” company-owned stores, across its Bargain Booze and Central brands, taking the estate down to 132 in total.