Convenience store owners are turning customers off and missing out on thousands of pounds-worth of sales by hiding premium wines and spirits behind their counters.
That was the message at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors' Drinksummit in Oxford earlier this month, where Belinda Hughes, senior category development manager at Diageo, said that less than 1% of shoppers purchased spirits in a convenience store due to their inaccessibility.
"Shoppers want to be able to look at products and compare prices, but they can't do that when they are behind a counter," she said. "Owners must take down these physical barriers if they are to encourage these important shoppers to return."
Hughes said the fitting of special security caps on high-value wines and spirits was the way forward. The caps, which can only be removed at the till, enable retailers to display bottles on open shelves. This could prompt sales to leap by as much as 37%, Hughes said.