Appleby Westward: new divisional board and major investment programme

Kelvin Beardsley

Appleby Westward, the fast growing southwest-based SPAR retailer and food wholesaler, has created a new divisional board to strategically manage the company to become the largest convenience store operator in the region.

Kelvin Beardsley has been appointed Operations Director, Lucie Coleman as Retail Director, and Duncan Jelfs as Commercial Director.

Lucie Coleman

Appleby Westward Managing Director Mike Boardman said: “This move is designed to strengthen the senior management structure within the Appleby Westward Group to reflect both the rapid sales growth within the organisation and the increasing complexity of our operations.

“All members of the new divisional board will report to me and will assume responsibility of corporate governance, strategic planning and budget setting, together with the delivery of key projects and profit and loss management. Joe Keohane, Group Finance Director, will join this new divisional board.”

Duncan Jelfs

Kelvin Beardsley has several years’ experience directing operations in the logistics industry, managing high performance teams and delivering large scale projects.  Lucie Coleman joins from Jollyes – The Pet People which has 80 stores and where she was Retail Director, while Duncan Jelfs has 30 years’ experience in the retail sector and joins from Bestway where he was head of Bargain Booze and Co-op franchise.

Capital Programme

Appleby Westward has also announced a multi-million pound capital investment programme designed to build on the recent strong growth of the business.

The investment programme will be spearheaded by two major schemes.  An £8.5million project to build new warehousing along with the refurbishment of the existing warehouse and offices at its Saltash, Cornwall headquarters is scheduled to get underway in 2023, while a £1.6m programme to invest in the development of the company-owned stores estate will run throughout the year.  Appleby Westward has also set aside £500k for co-investment store development programmes for its independent SPAR retailers and is targeting the recruitment of 35 stores to the business this year.

“A warehouse extension will be built on the land we own adjacent to our current warehouse buildings,” said Boardman. “In addition to the new building, we will be improving on-site car parking, redesigning and refitting the office facilities and modernising the existing warehouse buildings. This is a major capital investment and reflects not just our recent rapid growth but also our ambitions for the future.”

Among new warehousing facilities will be a chilled cross deck allowing the company to provide multi-temperature deliveries from its Saltash site and the Gregory Distribution facility at Cullompton. “This will enable us to provide an excellent service to independent customers and company-owned stores for years to come,” added Boardman.

The investment in its 140-strong company-owned stores estate comes on the back of a major investment in improved refrigeration in selected stores over the last year. The 2023 capital expenditure programme aims to improve the fabric of stores for both customers and store staff, ensuring back of house facilities are upgraded and redecorated. Additional investment is planned to help grow the company-owned stores estate, securing better commercial deals as it expands and providing new job opportunities in local areas.

“These projects demonstrate our continued success and intention to grow the business over the coming years,” Boardman concluded. “It will help us to remain at the heart of our communities, help more independent customers to flourish with us as a partner and to provide more job opportunities and career development for our colleagues.”