In January 2022, ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) launched a new campaign to boost awareness of Challenge25 among consumers and support colleagues in local shops selling age restricted products.
Challenge25 is a long running successful policy created to support colleagues who are doing their job by enforcing the law on age restricted sales. The policy, which urges colleagues to check for proof of age for anyone that might look 25 or under, is most commonly used for alcohol purchases but also applies to all other age restricted products.
Awareness of Challenge25 among the general public is strong, with 7 in 10 consumers currently aware of what the Challenge25 policy is for (Yonder consumer polling, adults aged 18-34, November 2021). There’s also widespread use of Challenge25 materials in local shops, although this is primarily at till points, meaning that the first time consumers are aware of the policy is when they make a purchase.
The Challenge25 campaign aims to widen the use of Challenge25 for age restricted products beyond alcohol, and highlight Challenge25 to customers earlier in their journey in a store.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops have a fantastic track record of preventing underage sales and promoting responsible retailing, but much of the focus on this activity is often on alcohol. Through this campaign, we’re working with retailers to highlight the importance of a robust Challenge25 policy that empowers colleagues and is consistently applied for all age restricted products.
“We know from our Crime Report that enforcing the law on age restricted sales is one of the biggest triggers of abuse in stores, so it’s essential that we provide as much support to colleagues as possible by reducing the risk of confrontation. We can take steps toward this by boosting the understanding and application of Challenge25 among consumers and retailers alike.”
Camelot's Head of Retail Operations, Julie Brian, said: "We're delighted to be part of ACS's Challenge25 campaign. The initiative provides a broad range of tools and support for local shops selling age-restricted products – helping National Lottery retailers prevent underage sales of Scratchcards and lottery tickets, which is a key priority for us at Camelot. Along with our own initiatives to support stores in this area, such as our Responsible Retailing and Operation 18 mystery shopper programmes, we know the expanded Challenge25 campaign will go a long way in ensuring National Lottery players continue raising over £30 million each week for Good Causes in a responsible way."