Bestway is to invest £12m in wide ranging improvements to its business following “serious reviews” of its operations.

Over the next few months, the cash & carry giant plans to revamp its fresh, chilled and frozen offer, as well as its distribution, foodservice and its petcare business Bestpets.

Revealing the plans exclusively to The Grocer, Bestway Wholesale MD Younus Sheikh said it was planning “a major new approach” to its food offer to help independents compete against the multiples.

“A whole new plan” to improve its catering offer, was also on the cards, following Bestway’s 2010 acquisitions of CJ Lang and Martex, he added.

“We want to improve on what we provide for the catering industry, building on the great work we have done during this year, at both Bestway and Batleys, to encourage new customers from this diverse sector,” Sheikh said.

“Maximum” promotional activity was also planned to help indie retailers and caterers cash in on the key events due to take place this year, such as the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the Olympics.

On Bestpets, Sheikh added: “Batleys has had an outstanding success with this business and we intend to continue to invest on this success by creating a number of new hubs around the country to spread the service in South East England and East Anglia and in other parts of the country. We will also increase the delivery service and continue to maximise the general high level of service to the pet trade.”

New teams are being recruited as a result of the reviews and a further 75 jobs are expected to be created when Bestway opens a new £6m, 80,000 sq ft depot in Tyne & Wear this spring.

“Bestway is very proud to be in a position to carry out these investments, especially with the tremendous financial difficulties facing the country,” Sheikh said. “It is a significant move for us and something we hope we can encourage other companies to be doing, to ensure Britain pulls itself out of its difficulties.”