An alcohol licensing initiative to enable independent retailers to take advantage of the take-home alcohol sector has been launched by Palmer and Harvey, the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler. The category is worth £1.1bn annually and in 2012 grew in value by 4.7%.

The initiative will guide independent retailers through the licensing process, with support from licensing specialist, Licensing Solutions.

Once the licence has been granted, Palmer and Harvey will work with the retailer to offset the costs incurred by supplying either a targeted range of alcohol lines or chillers free of charge. The company says the exact support given will depend upon the individual retailer.

The initiative is completely risk-free for retailers, according to Palmer & Harvey’s Rory Brick: "On the rare occasions that a licence application is unsuccessful, retailers will not be charged anything for the service.

“Alcohol is one of the fastest-growing categories in independent retail, and is a great way to increase turnover quickly. However, there is a degree of red tape in stocking alcohol and we’re pleased to be teaming up with Licensing Solutions to support retailers in securing a licence.

"Alcohol is also a fantastic basket builder, increasing basket spend on average from £6 to £12, as well as driving cross-category promotions such as a food and wine deal for £5.

"This new initiative will help time-conscious retailers obtain and start an effective alcohol range at no cost, while providing expert insight and support at every step of the way.”

The initiative was launched at Palmer and Harvey’s annual Pro Retail exhibition, held at Telford International Centre. 

Visitors to this year’s show experienced aspects of the high street from neighbourhood retailing to community involvement as Pro-retail explored the key trend for shopping locally. The category zones included chilled & fresh and in a new enhanced format the popular P&H Village returned for the second year. The P&H Village offers small-scale suppliers and local producers a showcase for their ranges.

Pro-retail demonstrated the positive impact on sales of part-day retailing – the act of merchandising according to the time of day to maximise sales.