A spirits and fortified wine merchandising guide is to be added to the Federation of Wholesale Distributors Blueprint scheme for independents and cash and carries. Finishing touches are being put to the initiative which was unveiled at FWD's Drinksummit conference. It will join the two initial schemes for beer and cider, and for wine and is the final piece in the Blueprint jigsaw. The guide will now be able to offer retailers advice across the entire alcoholic drinks fixture. FWD director general Alan Toft said: "There is nothing else like it in any other drinks market and for those who take it on it is a copper-bottomed guarantee that sales will increase. "The retailer does not have to spend a penny and sales are certain to go up and there is nothing else that does that. "In addition, once you get the off licence fixture performing, sales in the rest of the store also improve." Announcing the latest Blueprint, Graham Shelley, md of Integrated Marketing and Advertising which is implementing the scheme, said: "Our research told us retailers needed help in the spirits category and 95% of those we asked said they had never had assistance with the spirits display. "Generally speaking the merchandising policy was a mess, consumers were confused and there was a lack of retailer focus. Everyone agreed we needed to deliver a credible plan based on the best advice using supplier and wholesaler data and containing a must-stock guide." Shelley said on average it took the Blueprint teams five-and-a-half-hours to merchandise a beer fixture, and figures from stores using the Blueprint indicated it increased sales by more than £500 a week per outlet. Major suppliers backing the spirits initiative are Diageo, Maxxium, Allied Domecq, Pernod Ricard, First Drinks Brands, Bacardi-Martini, Booker and Landmark. Planograms of spirits fixtures for both England and Wales, and Scotland are being finalised and a publicity campaign to launch the scheme is planned for the summer. {{NEWS }}