In 1976 Sir Anwar Pervez opened Bestway’s first wholesale warehouse of 70,000 square foot in Acton, West London. His strategy of lower profit margin, a wide and varied range of products and its continued availability, unique customer care, long opening hours, seven days a week operations, hard working management and staff, clean environment etc was very well received by the independent retailers and has resulted in sustained and rapid growth.
Within first 18 months of trading Acton had achieved an impressive £12.0 million turnover. Subsequently, two more warehouses were opened in Southall (80,000 square foot covered area) and Hackney (60,000 square foot) in 1981 and 1983 respectively. The Hackney warehouse was a result of the acquisition of Claremont Cash & Carry. The flagship of the company, Abbey Road was opened in September 1984. It is the largest cash and carry warehouse in Europe with covered area of 242,000 square feet.
The Group acquired Bahsin Cash & Carry, (Edgware Road) in 1984, Crown Crest Limited, (Leicester) in 1987 and Link Cash & Carry, (Tottenham) in 1988. The 1990s saw Bestway extend its reach across UK with warehouses in Luton & Lewisham in the South of England; Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester in the North, Cardiff & Swansea in Wales.
By the time the Group celebrated its 18th anniversary in 1994, turnover had broken through the £500.0 million mark. The 25th anniversary year – 2001 saw the opening of nine new warehouses as Bestway sought to further penetrate UK’s regional markets. This continued and focused growth resulted in the Group turnover crossing the prestigious £1.0 billion mark in 2002.
In 2003 the Group embarked upon an ambitious reinvestment program in existing warehouses and new sites. This program was initiated with the relocation and redevelopment of our warehouse in Acton.
In January 2005 Bestway Group acquired Batleys Plc for £100.0 million. Batleys is UK’s oldest and one of the largest independent cash and carry group and was founded by the late Lawrence Batley OBE in 1958.
In February 2006 our new Leicester warehouse was opened. This new purpose built facility is located at our original site. In April 2006 our newly developed warehouse in Hackney replaced the existing warehouse. In March 2007, Enfield, North London started business as our 50th warehouse. As part of Bestway’s continued commitment to Cash & Carry sector, Batleys opened its first warehouse in five years in Gillingham, South East of England in October 2007.
In June 2010 Batleys agreed to acquire Bellevue Wholesale`s two cash & carry warehouses in Edinburgh and Stirling.
In November 2010 Batleys acquired the Martex Group of three cash and carry branches and its foodservice operation from C J Lang. Thus increasing Batleys branch network to 24, a 33% increase in just over five years since acquisition by Bestway.
Today, the Bestway Group is the second largest Cash & Carry Operator in the UK, with annual turnover is in excess of £ 2.0 billion and enjoys 18% of market share in the wholesale sector. It trades from 60 warehouses, offering over 5.5 million square feet of selling space, a product line of over 25,000 items and serving 100,000 independent retailers, many of who provide 24 hours service to various communities throughout the country. Bestway provides employment to over 4,500 people.