Bestway Retail poised to leverage key demographic mapping data

November 17, 2019

Bestway Retail has completed its UK-wide demographic mapping exercise, allowing its franchise and symbol group retailers to leverage key insights into which ranges, promotions and operational models offer the best fit for specific postcode locations.

Chief retail officer Andy Cresswell told C-Store the group was now “looking ahead,” and had “refocused the business” following the turmoil related to the collapse of Conviviality and Bestway’s subsequent acquisition of its retail brands.

The mapping process, undertaken over the last six months with data specialist CACI, had taken a “huge amount of resource and time” but its culmination had helped the business to take up a “fighting position; something which is key in the industry today because it’s tough out there,” he said.

“It’s given us real clarity on a significant range of factors, including who the local competition is and key details about the customer demographic, allowing us to model precisely which formats would be the most successful for that specific location.

Related: Retail Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Retail Franchises?

“It’s a huge opportunity as we can now have a much better conversation with retailers about picking the right operating model for them.”

The development was likely to result in some switching between store formats in a bid to ensure that they were best suited to their unique locations, Cresswell added. The “plentiful” data would also enable Bestway to focus promotions and special offers much better to local areas and to send specific limited stock promotions to exactly the right stores.

Cresswell confirmed that the next stage of the process was a review of all the company’s retail brands, where the group now has a model for all types of customer from retail club, symbol (Best-one), franchise (Bargain Booze) and specialist (Wine Rack). However, he maintained, “we won’t be refitting hundreds of stores in the next few months, this is a long-term project”.

“Some will be better suited to a Bargain Booze format, while others may have a significant opportunity for growth under a more specialist drinks led format such as Wine Rack. Likewise, there are convenience-led fascias for others where we have an opportunity to be the primary top-up store for that location,” he added.

Related: Retail Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Franchisee confidence in the business was also improving, Cresswell claimed. “From a franchise perspective, confidence is everything. Last year we lost a lot of (Bargain Booze) franchisees but this year we are now back at what I would call normal attritional levels, and have opened a few new sites with franchisees” Creswell added.

The180-strong company-owned store estate, 105 of which are the formerly P&H-owned Central Convenience Stores, will also benefit from the completed data project, and the outlets will be increasingly used to trial activity such as new forms of promotions and customer communication.

“Our focus on our company owned store estate has been ramped up, including the appointment of a new regional operations manager for the south where the Central Convenience Stores estate is concentrated,” Creswell added.

By Gaelle Walker

Source: Convenience Store

UK’s Bestway Retail Gets Andrew Cresswell As Its Chief Retail Officer

January 13, 2019

Andrew Cresswell has been appointed as the Chief Retail Officer, Bestway Retail and he will be in charge of the companies’ owned and franchise stores including the Conviviality brands acquired last year.

The appointment is part of a series of changes Bestway Wholesale announced to its senior leadership team, following the recent appointment of Dawood Pervez as managing director.

Cresswell joins from independent fuel retailer MRH where he serves as the managing director, Retail and takes over from David Robinson, who was instrumental in supporting the transition of Conviviality businesses – Bargain Booze, Select Convenience, Central Convenience and Wine Rack.

In other appointments, Tony Holmes will serve in the new role of Retail Director, overseeing the retail sales proposition for best-one Symbol Group, retail multiple accounts and Bestpets, the pet retail division of Bestway Wholesale. The group said the new role will give independent retailer and pet retail facing teams, a clearer focus.

Holmes, who joined Bestway Wholesale as Sales Director in February 2016, also assumes responsibility for retail business development from James Hall who announced retirement from his role as Business Development Director as of June 2019.

Related: Bestway buys Bargain Booze at bargain price

David Livingstone has stepped up to a new role of Head of Catering as part of the restructuring, in a bid to drive further growth for Bestway Wholesale in the catering market through collect catering and BB Foodservice delivered customers.

Ashar Rehman has also stepped up to the role of Head of Operations, from his previous role as Regional Operations Manager. Rehman brings a wealth of experience, having held positions within Bestway for over 30 years and this role will be pivotal to facilitating excellent service for all customers through the companies’ network of 65 depots.

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director, said, “we’re committed to ensuring we always deliver the best service to our customers, thus providing a clear solution for everyone; whether that’s a Franchise proposition through Bestway Retail, Symbol Group and Retail Club through Bestway Wholesale and Bestway and Batleys Cash & Carry’s, full-service delivered catering through BB Foodservice and Drinks Express or a collect catering range for customers in depot.

“At the end of the day, we want to provide customers with great service and excellent prices on the products they need, and splitting the retail and catering elements into two separate teams, and having Retail reporting into me, will enable all of our brands to be aligned and focused for the benefit of customers. It’s also great to have been able to both attract new talent and to have recognised our employees by appointing from within.”

Source: Eastern Eye

Bestway buys Bargain Booze at bargain price

April 8, 2018

Bestway has acquired Bargain Booze and the rest of Conviviality’s retail assets for £7m with immediate effect.

The deal sees Bestway take over the contracts Conviviality holds with individual franchisees, and the direct running of centrally-owned Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and Central Convenience stores.

Zameer Choudrey, Bestway Group CEO, said the deal was “a great fit” for both companies. “This deal provides much-needed certainty to these stores and our priority will be to stabilise the supply of stock into these businesses. These retailers can get back to ‘business as usual’ with the confidence of having the support of the UK’s largest independent wholesaler.

“By stepping in we have ensured the franchisee stores get the support they need and deserve to grow their businesses, as well as continuing to provide choice for shoppers on the high street.”

Choudrey added that the deal had also provided job security to more than 2,300 employees affected by Conviviality’s collapse.

Related: Franchise holders at Bargain Booze can now buy drinks outside the group

Paul Walker, owner 13 Bargain Booze stores in the north west, told Retail Express: “I’m happy with the news, Bestway have a good track record and like us, when they make a decision it’s their own money at stake. The name above the door should remain Bargain Booze, and I think now we’ve been split off our margins will begin to improve as well.”

However, some franchisees told Retail Express they are not prepared to let their contract change hands and are instead looking to exit the chain. Franchisees previously said they had been left “in the dark” over the company’s collapse.

There are at least 20 franchisees that are planning to leave the group and some have cancelled the direct debits paid to Conviviality.

Those retailers looking to exit the fascia face contract terms demanding store owners must give three months notice to leave the group or pay a year’s franchise fees. But one franchisee told Retail Express: “We’ve received no reassurances or information; the future of our businesses and we haven’t been given any say in the outcome.”

Prior to the move, three Bargain Booze franchisees had told Retail Express that they were looking to move to Bestway’s Best-one franchise, and Bestway’s Symbol development manager James Hall, said: “we have had many enquiries from Bargain Booze retailers.”

The move casts doubt over Bestway’s rumoured plans to acquire Blakemore Wholesale. A senior industry source has told Retail Express that the opportunity to purchase Conviviality’s assets may have caused Bestway to get “cold feet” over Blakemore Wholesale.

Source: Better Retailing