Bestway Wholesale has announced that it will to start up a new van sales operation in light of P&H’s Snacksdirect and Sweetsdirect businesses entering into administration.

The van sales business will service more than 20,000 retail customers with a fleet of 180 vans that Bestway has acquired from P&H’s administrators. The vans will be calling on the 20,000 retailers every two weeks.

The new division will be led by Noel Robinson, who previously headed the P&H operation. Robinson will report directly to Bestway Wholesale managing director Martin Race.

Many of the P&H van sales staff will also be re-employed by Bestway Wholesale to facilitate a smooth transition for customers.

Commenting on the new initiative, Race, said: “The new Bestway van sales division is a welcome addition to the business. We feel we will be able to drive operational efficiencies by running the van sales business out of our existing network of depots.

“Moreover, as many customers look for alternative sources of supply after the collapse of P&H, this move will reinforce our ability to offer further support and supply customers, continuing to demonstrate our commitment to the wholesale channel and to independent retailers.

“As a result, and buoyed by the groundswell of support from our supplier partners, we feel the launch of this new service to customers will be a great fit for us in delivering our future growth plans and building on our already close relationships with customers.

Bestway plans to have the vans on the road and selling to retailers as early as Monday January 22.