Bestway is bolstering the field support and simplifying the rebate structure for its symbol group and unaffiliated retailers.
The firm held its first Retail Showcase on 25 May in Liverpool. It used the event to reveal that it had added 400 new retailers to its business in its current financial year. Speaking to Better Retailing during the conference, the wholesaler’s incoming retailer director Jamie Davison revealed the additions were part of major investment Bestway was making into recruiting and retaining retailers.
This includes an upcoming “upskill and development” programme at the end of summer, designed to improve the service field reps provide when visiting retailers. Davison added: “We want to sit down with retailers to talk about their position and what they want to do next. We want to understand how we can develop their businesses and not just be a supplier of products. We’re aligning ourselves to be a long-term partner.
“We also have a desire and commitment to co-investing. We want to put our money where our mouth is and we’re happy to contribute to redevelopment of retailers who are signing into the group for a period of time.”
Davison added that the firm will also restructure the rebates Best-one retailers receive in the coming months, following similar changes for Costcutter stores earlier in the year. Explaining the upcoming improvements, he said: “We’ll reveal more to retailers in the next two months, but we will explain how we’re going to simplify the structure. We want more retailers to benefit from our rewards and rebate schemes. We have listened to retailers.
“We’ve looked at the qualifying criteria and we’re going to reposition the whole rebate scheme. The ethos is about how we can reward the best retailers. The simpler you make a rebate scheme, the more retailers will buy into it. We want to be an easier business to work with.”
Davison also outlined the firm’s ambitions for acting as a third-party supplier for other symbol groups and wholesalers. Bestway currently counts Simply Fresh, Eden Farm Hulleys, Eddy’s Food Station, Select & Save and Store Group within these partnerships.
He added: “Business to business is another area we’re going to push out in the next 12 to 18 months. Other recognised operators are seeing the benefits of what we’re doing. They’re asking how can they work with us potentially in a more collaborative approach rather than just being a supplier?”
Other investments by Bestway include own-label, with Davison stating that the firm is assessing how to modernise the category.
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