David Sands has boosted the sale of confectionery by 20% - simply by training its staff to offer it to customers as they pay.

In the first 24 weeks of 2009, the new initiative lifted sales of confectionery in the 26 stores by £175,000, compared with the same period the previous year.

The Scottish independent convenience chain started the new scheme, You Are The Difference, in November, to encourage store staff to proactively sell selected lines that were new or on promotion. Staff were incentivised with weekly competitions, prizes such as iPods being won by the stores that had sold the most lines.

"Training staff has been the key to the success of the scheme," said CEO David Sands.

"We selected lines every week that we wanted to push, particularly in confectionery, and it has really worked well. Store staff should actually be selling things in store."