the forum

08 February, 2008

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e-mail:

oln.editorial@william-reed.co.u

k

Q

Should I leave the dust on my bottles of fine claret and Burgundy to add to the mystique of these wines?

A Dust means two things: stock that people don't want to buy

and a manager who doesn't care enough about the stock to keep it clean. It adds up to a shop I wouldn't want to visit.

Mandy, Bucks

AWe leave our fine wines to gather dust because I don't want to keep picking them up and disturbing sediment and generally fiddling about with them. It does absolutely no harm to the wine in the bottle either .

James, North Yorks

AI used to work for a shop where the slightly loopy owner used to add fake dust to bottles on display to make them look older than they were. I wouldn't call it "mystique" though.

Barry, North Wales

Q Would a realistic-looking panic button on my counter deter ­potential robbers?

A It may well do, but panic buttons are not the panacea you may think they are. When I worked at Unwins in the late 1990s our security chief was opposed to panic buttons, real or fake, because they had the potential to panic robbers into a sudden act of violence. We were told that people had actually been hurt when armed raiders had seen them press these buttons.

MA, Kent

A Conspicuous CCTV cameras would be a better investment. There is absolutely no point in resorting to gimmicks or skimping on costs when it comes to protecting your business, your staff and yourself.

Ash, Leicester

Q I occasionally receive ­promotional merchandise from suppliers and cash and carries. Is it acceptable to use this stuff as incentives for staff if they hit certain targets?

A, south London

Q If I offer baskets to customers as they enter my shop, will my average transaction value increase?

Sol, Bucks




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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