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    Bestway calls for greater supply chain collaboration to ease pressure on indie retailers

    Bestway Wholesale has called for greater collaboration across the supply chain in the face of increasing pressure on independent retailers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Local independent retail stores and community shops are proving to be essential to their local communities and and it is vital that we can keep their shelves stocked,” said Dawood Pervez, managing director.

    “These retailers account for £40 billion of the UK’s grocery shopping basket, and by their very nature are as important right now as the supermarket multiples – if not more so – as people stay as close to their homes as possible.”

    The wholesaler has urged suppliers to take a balanced and considerate approach when deciding on their delivery priorities.

    “This shouldn’t be a question of ‘who shouts loudest’ and nor should it be about the commercials of who has the biggest purchasing power,” Pervez said.

    “It’s about sensible trading to cover ALL the national and local networks.  Right now, we all need to work together to ensure an even distribution of inventory to guarantee continuity of supply and get everyday staples to those who need them.”

    Bestway calls for greater supply chain collaboration to ease pressure on indie retailers

    Pervez anticipates more demand on the local stores in the coming weeks.

    “We can see from recent trading patterns in other EU countries– countries that are ahead of the UK in the timelines of COVID-19 outbreak – that after the initial rush, the larger supermarkets are actually dropping their volumes, whereas local stores anticipate their volumes will remain heightened for some weeks to come.”

    James Bielby, chief executive of FWD, has also stressed on the need to ensure a breadth of supply across the whole grocery market.

    “Independent retailers reach communities not served by the supermarkets and supply needs to be recognised and protected, so consumers have a choice of stores and are able to shop close to where they live in line with government guidelines,” Bielby said.

    “Government must ensure wholesalers have access to a full range and quantity of products at a time when manufacturers are producing fewer SKUs in smaller quantities. Without support for the independent sector many vulnerable communities won’t have access to the products they need.”

    Pervez has highlighted that there are many instances where goods into Bestway have been cancelled or short delivered due to supply pressure – at a time where depot footfall by independent retailers has increased by over 30 percent.

    He said the firm is reacting to the continued supply disruption and a reduced workforce with innovative ways.

    “This includes adapting to new pack sizes as manufacturers cut range in favour of core SKUs and plain pack variants and collaboration with foodservice wholesalers who have inventory to sell and we’re offering to collect products from suppliers’ facilities to ease delivery burdens, or adopt central delivery into one hub,” he explained.

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