The supplier of Smirnoff, Gordons and Bells is offering independent retailers free security caps in an effort to persuade them to bring spirits out from behind the counter.

Diageo Great Britain's Free Your Spirits campaign includes a £1.5m investment in the anti-theft kits, which consist of 48 caps and a detacher. Specifically aimed at the convenience, independent and off licence channels, the campaign is intended to help retailers overcome security concerns about these high-value items, and obtain higher sales from more accessible siting.

The security caps click into place and can only be removed with the detacher provided. Without the detacher, the bottle has to be smashed, making it unattractive to thieves.

A previous industry initiative, Putting Leaders on Display (PLOD), saw spirit sales increase by up to 37%.

Diageo's Paul Dowling said: "Currently, buying spirits in a convenience store is often inconvenient for the shopper. They are often behind the counter and difficult to see, browse and shop.

"The kits have been very positively received and retailers are hugely impressed that there are genuinely no catches. We've only just launched and already we have converted 574 stores we are looking to convert 3,000 by June next year."

Free Your Spirits will also encourage retailers to stock spirits in 70cl, 50cl and 35cl variants where available, create a logical layout with leading brands at eye level, and support the fixture with POS materials to remind shoppers to buy mixers with their spirits.

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