The potential rewards for bringing spirits out from behind the counter in independent stores, and a way to do it, was outlined by Belinda Hughes and Graham Dorrington, senior category development managers at Diageo.
Nielsen data showed that there was an on-going shift towards drinking at home, said Dorrington, but c-stores did not appear to be sharing in the benefits of this change. Only 1% of customers in c-stores were buying spirits in c-stores compared with 6% in supermarkets, and one of the main barriers to customers buying spirits was that they could not browse them or did not even notice their presence when they were placed behind the counter.
Security caps were a solution to the problem, said Hughes, because they would enable retailers to display spirits on an aisle without risking excessive losses through theft. The caps prevent the bottles being opened if they are stolen, and preliminary trials in store produced a sales uplift of 37%.
She said the initial cost for a store for the caps and other equipment was pound;205, and it was estimated that a store turning over pound;12,000 a year on spirits would on average increase spirits sales by pound;4,400 a year.