The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has met with the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) with a view to securing approval to adopt its Challenge 25 retailing strategy for use in the responsible retailing of knives, and explains it will unveil an equivalent “very soon”.
The meeting follows BHETA’s consultative retailer and supplier workshop on knife retailing, attended by most of the top retail and supplier brands in the category.
Challenge 25 is a retailing strategy that encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID (a card bearing the PASS hologram, a photographic driving license or a passport) if they wish to buy alcohol. It has proved successful both in terms of awareness among young people and as an aid to retail staff involved in the sale of age-sensitive products.
“With the personal consequences of illegal sales for the member of shop staff becoming more severe – and more widely applicable as we have seen with the retail of kitchen knives – it is vital that retailers get every assistance in their area of responsibility,” said BHETA chief operating officer Will Jones.
He continued: “One of the areas of consensus in BHETA’s supplier / retailer workshop was that a standardised system of knife labelling which could be adopted universally by suppliers could be of help to retailers. We therefore approached RASG to investigate the potential for using the existing Challenge 25 concept.”
RASG has developed a suite of designs, from posters to shelf barkers to badges, to reinforce the message throughout the ail environment. The signage in red and black makes it clear that under 25s must now expect to be challenged to prove their age. It also spells out the heavy fines which could follow for those caught breaking the law.
The workshop was BHETA’s opening move in its responsible knife retailing campaign, a proactive initiative agreed with members following an initial consultation on March 25. A vast mix of traders attended, representative of all styles of kitchen retailing, from premium to mass market, and discounter, including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Dunelm, Steamer Trading, T K Maxx, Elys of Wimbledon and Harts of Stur. They joined the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), BHETA and leading knife suppliers, Taylor’s Eye Witness, Amefa, Fiskars, Meyer, Haus, Burton McCall, Kuhn Rikon and Robert Welch.
The agenda covered all supplier and retailer aspects of the issue including product design, packaging and merchandising, point of sale and checkout procedure, consumer education and lobbying.
Mr Jones concluded: “We hope to be announcing an equivalent to Challenge 25 for the kitchen knife sector very soon.”