Bestway said it had clocked up delivered sales of more than £650m in retail in the past year for the first time – a 22% increase. Total sales came in at £2.55bn in the year to the end of last June.

Bestway has invested in a new fleet of branded vehicles for its delivered business, a driver training academy, a “state-of-the-art” route-planning and management system, a chilled distribution centre in Coventry, which has just been extended by 50%, and an extensive review of its chilled and frozen retail offering for customers including Best-in own label.

“The growth in our delivered business to £650m has been remarkable with both Best-one and our websites contributing considerably” said Sheikh.

The latest figures now meant that the delivered business was bigger than that of Londis, yet many still viewed Bestway as a cash and carry business.

“Like the industry we have changed over time but perhaps we haven’t shouted about it loud enough,” Sheikh said.

The retail landscape was changing for many and more and more retailers were looking to delivered for their major source of supply.

“As a business we are incredibly mindful that the customer must always be at the heart of everything we do, stemming from the fact that as former retailers we know how tough retail life can be.

“To succeed one has to look at the industry, predict where the growth will be and have the focus and courage to invest. That’s exactly what our customers, and we as a business, have done and this is what has driven our delivered business to this record high of £650m,” Sheikh said.