The nation’s wholesalers are helping retailers to limber up for the Olympic Games supply challenge with extended opening hours and service initiatives.

Bestway Group has launched its ‘stock, sell and win’ plan, offering retailers a pocket guide plus dedicated website carrying stocking and merchandising tips, as well as real-time text and email alerts to highlight flash promotions and optimal times to travel to and from their local Bestway depot.

Bestway group marketing controller Jason Baker said the period represented a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for retailers who had a clear picture of the opportunities, and obstacles, the Games would bring.

Bestway Hackney will act as the main Olympic hub, opening 24 hours a day for the duration of the Games. Other London depots will have extended hours, opening from early morning until 10pm. Supplier deliveries have also been extended and internal stock management initiatives implemented to meet demand.

Booker also announced that at least four of its key London depots would switch to 24-hour opening during the two-week Olympic period. Hours will also be extended at other depots should demand call for it.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) has called 
on councils to be more understanding of the challenges that road closures and parking restrictions will pose to retailers seeking to stock up their stores.

Speaking at a Transport Select Committee meeting, FWD chief executive James Bielby urged London borough councils to take a “sensible and pragmatic” approach to enforcement. “These are extraordinary circumstances and we hope they will not see this as an opportunity to gain revenue by throwing penalty charge notices around like confetti,” he said.