Just before Christmas, Bestway announced it would be buying the Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) from current owner Bibby Line, subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The existing Co-op supply deal with the symbol chain had another two and a half years to run, raising concerns among independent retailers over their product offerings. The 2,000-strong Co-op range has proved to be an important driver of footfall and sales for Costcutter retailers and boosted the group’s overall performance.
The extension means the Co-op will continue to supply Costcutter stores with branded and own label products via its Nisa supply chain until 2026.
Bestway Wholesale Managing Director Dawood Pervez said: “We know the Co-op/Nisa supply contract is important to our CSG retailers, and we are delighted to announce this extension, which will give additional reassurance that there is no operational change once CSG becomes part of the Bestway family.
Co-op’s own brand range
“It means Costcutter retailers will continue to benefit from access to the same range they have today, including a fresh offer that is right for today’s convenience shopper, as well as the Co-op’s own brand range.”
He added: “Today’s market is all about adapting with agility to ensure independent retailers can maintain the momentum gained over the past year, and we will be working collaboratively to understand how we can drive further value-add and help convert lifeline shoppers into lifelong shoppers. But it is important first step for us that we reassure our retailers and they see that we have their best interests at heart.”
Mike Hollis, Retail Director at CSG, welcomed the contract extension, saying: “It allows us to offer an exceptional range with over 13,000 lines, all price checked weekly by CSG to remain competitive. The award-winning Co-op own brand range continues to attract shoppers and increased basket spend while providing great margin.
“For retailers we can now offer the perfect combination to drive their sales and growth: the scale of Bestway, the industry-leading retail offer and support provided by CSG, and Co-op/Nisa’s range and supply. This positions CSG as the ideal symbol group partner for any independent retailer.”
Once approved by the FCA, the Costcutter acquisition is expected to complete in the first quarter of this year, creating a symbol, franchise and company-owned retail estate of more than 3,795 stores.