Independent retailers are still missing out on a £16bn opportunity to boost their sales, delegates heard. Mark Young of Walkers explained the extra sales could be generated simply by persuading shoppers to put one extra thing in their baskets ­ taking the average purchase up to 3.1 items. And the best way of doing that was by increasing sales of products with "expandable" consumption, like confectionery, snacks and soft drinks. But Young said the independent sector would never realise the £16bn opportunity until it grasped the initiatives born out of the Everyday Impulse project. In particular it had to focus on increasing the availability of the big sellers, supporting new launches and improving the way products are merchandised. His message echoed those delivered by Britvic and Cadbury Trebor Bassett. But Young, who is Walker's wholesale trading director, also aired the big gripe of suppliers: "We spend millions on promotional investment that never reaches the consumer. How can we persuade retailers to pass on more of this?" {{NEWS }}