Spar retailer Lawrence Hunt has doubled spirits sales in some stores by putting them on the shop floor, while still managing the threat of shoplifting.
The business has been cautiously trialling spirits on the shop floor in 12 of its 25 stores for 12 months, while monitoring the “huge risk” of theft.
It’s an issue convenience retailers have grappled with for years, with spirits on the shop floor typically selling - and being stolen - in higher volumes than those behind the counter.
Measures to manage theft included security tags but “what we’ve found far more effective is adding security tags to shopping baskets,” said Lawrence Hunt Spar MD Kevin Hunt.
“You have to train your staff and teach them to be more observant. If you want sales growth, there is always going to be a cost to sales. For example, if you want to invest and do well in fresh, you have to double your fresh but that means your waste goes up. It’s the same thing when you want to increase your spirits sales.”
He added: “Having spirits available on a fixture on the shop floor removes till point pressure. It makes it easier to shop in terms of time and by adding mixers to the fixture it becomes a great browsing opportunity.”
Speaking the recent IGD Live conference in London, Hunt said some stores had doubled spirits sales thanks to the move.
“There’s a huge risk with this and most people will let the risk outweigh the reward,” he said at the event. “But it does allow customers to browse the selection and browse the price, without the sort of taboo of not being able to quite see the price or asking different things of the price point.”