Kerry Foods Direct to Store is helping c-store retailers through the recession by increasing the number of sale-or-return lines.

The chilled distribution service already offers sale-or-return on three sausage, four sliced meat, 15 sandwich and two salad lines and plans to reintroduce sale-or-return on three cheese and two bacon lines later this month.

Earlier this year, Kerry Foods had tried other options to help try and keep costs down for independents, including selling items at slightly reduced prices, said a spokeswoman. "After consultation with shopkeepers, Kerry decided to reintroduce sale-or-return," she said.

"It seems retailers prefer the freedom of being able to order more, knowing they can return items if they don't sell."

The company is also offering a range of sale-or-return products that can be bought in single items rather than crates, including fruit and veg.

"We recognise that our customers need as much support as possible and these initiatives will give them the best opportunity to maximise their sales and profits," said Kerry Foods Direct to Store managing director, Michael Bassett. "We are committed to helping our customers trade successfully through the current recession," he added.