Bestway warns independent retailers not to put prices up amidst Coronavirus outbreak

As the pressures on supply chains continue, Bestway Wholesale has warned retailers including members of its’ Symbol Group best-one, not to use the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity to profiteer or inflate prices.

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale said: “Since the start of this outbreak of COVID-19, independent retailers have provided a vital lifeline to local communities and many retailers are going the extra mile providing delivery services to people in isolation and freebies such as coffee to frontline workers including NHS staff.

“We are very proud to be a part of this industry, especially after the government announced it would recognise those involved in food distribution, sale and delivery as ‘Key Workers’, as local communities depends upon local independent stores and pharmacies including Bestway’s Well Pharmacy business now more than ever for essential supplies.

“However, we’ve become aware of some retailers trying to profiteer by putting prices up where stock is short, and this is very damaging for the reputation of to the industry at large.  Subsequently, we have put strict measures in place to warn our retailers against this practise.

“We have a stock control team working around the clock to ensure our depots are replenished, and stock is arriving all the time. Therefore, retailers can continue to use our depots to top-up, and they should ensure availability by reducing the number of products consumers can buy, rather than by putting prices up.”

In an email sent to customers, Bestway has warned retailers that if they are caught trying to profiteer by breaking up multi-packs to sell items individually for a higher price, they will have their account put on stop and all credit facilities will be withdrawn. Anyone with a best-one fascia also risks having their fascia removed.

Pervez adds: “We ask all retailers to not break multipacks and to stick to price marks, which give consumers confidence in the price being charged. The loyalty independent retailers can build during this time will stretch far beyond the end of the Coronavirus crisis.”

Bestway has put social distancing efforts in place across all of its depots including preventing under 16’s from entering, reducing the number of people in depot at any one time and marking areas of 2m distances. Some depots are also closing early to allow teams the time to replenish stock and keep up supply. Support materials have also been sent to retailers making it easier for them to advertise local delivery services and so they can offer to source additional goods and a poem has been shared with retailers to display on their countertops to add a little light-heartedness in store.