Independent retailers are finally waking up to the profit potential of wine sales through their stores, the head of Britain's wholesale distributors has claimed. Alan Toft, director general of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said ACNielsen figures and wholesale data showed that pre-Christmas wine sales ran to record levels. The FWD has been boosting this trend by promoting its Blueprint for Wine merchandising guide. Toft said: "Those who have already adopted it are seeing increases in sales and we will soon have 500 retailers who have taken the Blueprint on board. There us a continual stream of retailers who want to have their wine fixtures made over." Landmark trading controller Steve Mayes, who recently toured stores using the Blueprint, said: "There is evidence that the merchandising guide makes the wine fixture more profitable. "But there are still a lot of opportunities for improvement out there because retailers do not understand how to sell wine. The advice is there and they should make the most of it." {{DRINKS }}