Blockbuster pours booze into an extra 80 degutlets

Blockbuster is ramping up the number of stores in which it sells alcohol, following the success of a trial last year.

The chain, owned by US giant Viacom, began a 23-store trial last October.

Following its success, a further 80 stores will now stock alcohol, taking the total to more than 100 - an eighth of the company's UK portfolio of more than 800 stores.

The strategy is part of the Great Night In concept that promotes Blockbuster as a one-stop-shop for an evening indoors. The scheme is expected to boost the average spend of customers that would otherwise only rent a movie.

Blockbuster UK vice-president commercial Steve Foulser said: 'Customers find it a convenient way to shop for a bottle of wine or a few beers (in the same store) when choosing the latest movie.'

A spokeswoman for the company said more stores would be added. 'Obtaining licences for the stores is the only thing that would prevent us from introducing this (to more stores).' She said space would not be a concern, as the cooler cabinet would also suit smaller outlets.

In new stores, customers will be offered a bottle of Rivercrest wine and four Castlemaine XXXX for£5.99 or six 330ml Stella Artois for£6.39, with a free Stella-branded glass.