Bestway is to expand its van sales operation beyond the snacks and confectionery categories, as its existing fleet of vehicles is being upgraded to manage increased demand.
The service, which is split between Vans Direct Snacks and Vans Direct Sweets, serves more than 21,000 independent retailers every fortnight, representing a 7% annual growth from nearly 20,000 in 2022. A Bestway spokesperson told Better Retailing the wholesaler is to extend the service to another product category following extensive trials.
They added: “Due to the success of the current model, we have many suppliers from different categories interested to see how this model could be replicated in different categories. The live ‘test and learn’ will operate in a key category for our independent retail customer base where we will look to grow distribution and sales.
“The model is designed to help all of our customers to sell more make more and save more. One of the key secrets within the Bestway Vans Direct’ model is having a bespoke and specialised salesforce for each category we operate in as this allows us to give retailers independent category advice to enable them to grow their sales within their stores. Therefore, as we look to new categories this will again operate as a bespoke model with category specialists in that area.”
The firm did not reveal which new category the service may get extended to, but said it was undergoing a trial to “capture the learnings and optimise the potential before a national roll out.”
The expansion comes as the firm has replaced 56 vans in the Snacks operation with more fuel-efficient models to help improve the service for retailers.
Bestway Wholesale managing director Dawood Pervez added: “We know from listening to our customers that Bestway Vans provides an agile, much needed services.
“If we look back to ‘the beginning’ in 2017, insight showed that delivered wholesale had increased 30% in 10 years, reaching £11.3bn versus only a 20% increase in cash and carry.
“This highlighted the need to increase delivered initiatives evidencing an increase in the wholesale market overall”.