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BHETA secures Challenge 25 for knives

With rising numbers of retailer prosecutions regarding the sales of knives to under-18s, The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has announced a strategy to help responsible knives sales in-stores. BHETA has confirmed that ‘Challenge 25’ can now be extended to cover the responsible retailing of kitchen knives.

Above: Some of the Challenge 25 material to convey the need to check age prior to age sensitive purchases.
Above: Some of the Challenge 25 material to convey the need to check age prior to age sensitive purchases.

Challenge 25 is a retailing strategy that was developed for use in alcohol sales. It 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 want 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

Its extension will (for the first time) include supplier packaging, which can now carry the Challenge 25 graphics, in addition to point of sale items.

The development follows BHETA’s discussions with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association about the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG)’s Challenge 25 retailing strategy. BHETA’s retailer and supplier workshop on knife retailing (attended by many leading retail and supplier brands) prompted the discussions.

Retailers and suppliers will be able to use a portfolio of designs (from posters to shelf barkers to badges) to convey the Challenge 25 message throughout the retail 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 that could follow for those caught breaking the law.

Commenting on the news, BHETA’s chief operating officer, Will Jones said, “With the personal consequences of illegal sales for the members 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.

“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 knife suppliers could be of considerable help to knife retailers.  We therefore approached RASG to investigate the potential for using the existing Challenge 25 concept and I am delighted to be able to confirm that RASG felt that this was a good idea.”

Kelly Moss from WSTA added, “I will now create the necessary artwork and make it available on the RASG website for use with specific, age related goods beyond alcohol and including bladed articles.   As a body, RASG wants to promote responsible retailing, and inclusion of Challenge 25 on knives/bladed article packaging acts as an additional measure to ensure that both consumers and retail staff are aware of the age restrictions for those goods.”

BHETA will continue to be proactive in its responsible knife retailing campaign (which earlier this year involved consultation with top retailers and knives suppliers on product design, packaging and merchandising, point of sale and checkout procedure, consumer education and lobbying).

Will Jones concluded, “This is a first in a series of initiatives we hope to take to help retailers address this complex issue with positive measures and we will be working with WSTA and RASG to get all the relevant retail materials to the suppliers and retailers concerned.”

For more information about BHETA and BHETA lobbying, contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or visit the BHETA website


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