Video rental chain, Blockbuster is rolling out off-licence fixtures in its stores.

Initially 23 sites will be fitted with chillers and sell a range of stock including Stella Artois lager and E&J Gallo branded wines, although Blockbuster is optimistic that the scheme will be successful enough to implement in all its 700 outlets.

The move will be a head on attack on independent off-licences which often share the same consumers in neighbourhood areas.

Chairman of c-store operator T&S Stores, Kevin Threlfall, last month reported a growth in alcohol sales following the introduction of chillers to its 870-strong One Stop estate.

Threlfall added: “We're taking away the raison d'être for having off-licences as stand alone shops because there's no need for them. I believe that in five to 10 years they won't exist anymore.”

A spokesman for Blockbuster, which has linked up with Interbrew and Gallo to distribute the lines, said the idea is to become "a one stop shop for a night in".

She added: "Our aim is to provide a convenient complete solution to a night at home.
"We will only be selling beer, wine and bottled products like Smirnoff Ice. Our stores are located on High Streets so we will be no difference to off-licences."

Steve Kitching, take home sales director of Interbrew UK, said: "We are committed to making beer easier to buy for consumers by extending its availability to retail outlets that have traditionally not sold it."

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