Spirits have the potential to be worth an extra £280m to the convenience channel, according to The Famous Grouse supplier Maxxium.

Spirits currently account for 21% (£1.1bn) of all alcohol sales in convenience, versus 26.6% (£2.7bn) in grocery [Nielsen 52 w/e 28 February 2015]. Bringing c-store sales into parity would be worth almost £300m to convenience retailers, said Maxxium, which has this week launched a guide to maximising spirits profits in the impulse channel.

Called Know Your Store, the booklet claims retailers could generate an extra £5,699 a year by converting 10 shoppers a week into spirits buyers. C-store spirits shoppers spend an average of £17 per trip, versus an average basket of £6.04 [Him!]. The guide gives advice to drive sales including: understanding the profile of your shoppers; ensuring an appropriate range is stocked; and merchandising commonly bought items, such as mixers and snacks, together where possible.

Maxxium customer marketing controller Chris Richardson said there was an opportunity to grow sales by developing spirits other than vodka, which accounts for 46% of spirits sales in convenience versus 29% in all channels. “Vodka massively over-indexes and, as a result, pretty much all other categories under-index,” he said.

Malt whisky was one area where c-stores under-indexed, he added: “Malts is one of those categories where people are very engaged, and like to be able to select, so that’s a missed opportunity.”