WHOLESALE giant Bestway group has officially opened its new depot just south of the River Clyde in Glasgow’s Kilbirnie Street.
The new unit becomes the eighth depot in the Batleys Scotland portfolio. The group’s other sites are in Aberdeen, Stirling, Edinburgh, Cambuslang, Perth, Dundee and Bellevue Edinburgh.
The latest in a chain of 63 wholesale and cash and carry sites across Britain, the city centre unit is officially named Bestway Batleys wholesale and is the first of the company’s facilities in Scotland to prominently carry the Bestway name.
On the site of the former Sher Bros depot, which Bestway bought earlier this year, the new branch has been extended and at 110,000 sq ft is more than twice the size of the old unit.
It will operate as a cash and carry and is intended to serve retail and food service, leisure and hospitality markets. Sher Bros did substantial trade in Glasgow’s busy ethnic restaurant and fast food markets.
Servicing of the group’s Best-one symbol store and delivered wholesale business will continue to be handled by the nearby Cambuslang depot, east of the city, and other Scottish branches.
The new city centre site has added a full range of alcoholic drinks, which Sher Bros did not stock. It also carries fresh produce, chilled foods and has a butchery section.
Bestway expects the depot to be one of its top three selling units in Britain.
Bestway chief executive Zameer Choudry said the depot would ensure retailers and other customers had more choice, more competitive pricing, more support and more flexibility.
The depot had already been trading, ahead of the official opening. After the event the group said the depot had proved a hit.
Initial results showed sales up 196% on the corresponding day the week before and customers were said to have been buying promoted items and non-promoted lines.
The depot saw a 128% increase in footfall. Batleys Cambuslang posted a sales increase of 13% over the previous week despite fears of cannibalisation, the company said.
General manager Pat Collins thanked customers for their patience.
He said that while he was grateful for all the work done by staff and contractors it had meant that for six to eight weeks the depot hadn’t been a great place to shop. But he thought customers would now be pleased.
“I’m sure they will see that the wait has been well worth it. They now have a depot that is a joy to shop and one that we all can be rightly proud of.”
• Best-in, the own label of the Bestway group has launched a new fruit and vegetable range.
The range features 20 of the most popular fruit and vegetable products, all carrying the Best-in logo and a price mark. Labels also display country of origin and best-before dates.
The firm says there’s a minimum of 30% POR on each of the packs and the full range is available in Bestway and Batley depots and from Bestway Direct.
The new range follows the launch of a chilled savoury foods collection in July and the company says it’s an illustration of its commitment to help independent retailers build chilled food sales.
Steve Carter, category controller for fresh and chilled and Bestway said: “Local stores do other areas of chilled and fresh well. So there is no reason why retailers cannot provide a strong core fruit and veg offering.
“However, retailers need guidance as fresh fruit and vegetables have limited shelf life and an element of risk with wastage.
“But that’s the beauty of this range – all the best selling SKUs, pre-packed, pre-priced and prepared for selling. No scales, no wrapping, no fuss. We are trying to make it as easy as possible for retailers to get into a category that is showing tremendous growth and also acts as a barometer of store quality.”