Tool up with UDV Shopper insight is at the heart of UDV's initiatives for 2001, from how they make buying decisions, how they surf' the fixtures and what visual messages work. UDV's work on understanding shopper habits is proving a useful tool for retailers' merchandising programmes. Spirits are highly profitable per square foot of retail space. Small changes to how spirits are merchandised in-store can deliver significant returns. But it is shopper insight that is proving to be key. UDV's work on shopper behaviour allowed it to develop spirits-specific in-store activity. The information has been put on a CD-ROM which is being circulated to retailers' HQs. "We want our fair share," says UDV's director of off-trade category planning, Andy Adams. Key relationships between spirits buyers in the multiple grocers and UDV forged over several years, led to joint initiatives. "Clear merchandising and signposting of brands makes shopping easier and more enjoyable," says Adams. "Creating excitement in retail is all about marketing to occasion. And you don't get a bigger occasion than Christmas." UDV's approach this year is to split the in-store fixtures into two key elements ­ impulse and drinks cabinet. Thus consumers will find themselves flowing down the spirits fixture from impulse-driven after dinner drinks like ports, creams, liqueurs and imported whiskies and malts to drinks cabinet staples like whisky blends, cognac, brandy and white spirits. UDV has also tested standalone units in six Sainsbury stores, featuring Gordon's Gin merchandised with tonic, lemons and lime. It proved to be a success and a decisions will be made to see how this approach can be rolled out further. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}