Press Centre

Asda announces package of measures to limit access to alcohol

  • Town centre ASDA stores will stop selling alcohol between midnight and 6 am
  • Challenge 25 proof of age scheme extended to 100 more stores (following successful pilot in Scotland)
  • Number of independent test purchases doubled, with success and failure rates published online
  • Under 18s who illegally attempt to purchase alcohol may be prosecuted by ASDA for breaking thelaw·
  • High alcohol fruit flavoured shot sized ‘shooters’ removed from sale
  • £1m invested into targeted youth projects aimed at reducing underage alcohol consumption

ASDA today (Monday 25th February) announced a comprehensive package of measures aimed at limiting access to alcohol in its stores, making it harder for under 18s to break the law. The supermarket is also stopping selling alcohol after midnight in town centre stores, to prevent people leaving late night bars and clubs from purchasing even more booze.

In addition ASDA announced it was investing £1m into targeted youth projects to tackle alcohol-related problems amongst kids, working alongside Business in the Community.

The supermarket’s package of measures is aimed at tackling both underage drinking and the effects that late night alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour have on the local communities in which it operates.

From 7th April ASDA’s town centre stores will not sell alcohol between midnight and 6am*. The supermarket will also extend its industry leading Challenge 25 proof of age scheme to all of these stores to further prevent underage sales.

ASDA’s target is that no one under 18 should be able to buy alcohol in one of its stores. To meet this challenge it is toughening up its independent test purchase regime, more than doubling the number of times that stores are tested. Results will be published every month online.

Andy Bond, ASDA CEO and President said: "Our aim is to make it practically impossible for under 18s to break the law in our stores. As a parent myself I find it unacceptable that children in the UK are still able to purchase alcohol from retailers and pubs. So from today we are adopting a zero-tolerance approach.

“Every single ASDA store in the UK will be independently tested at least once a month, with the results published on our website. We will also display signs within the store making it clear that we reserve the right to prosecute anyone under 18 who attempts to purchase alcohol, or anyone that is doing so on a child’s behalf.”

In addition to targeting underage sales ASDA is also addressing the issue of people buying alcohol late at night when they leave bars and clubs.

“It will no longer be possible to purchase alcohol between midnight and 6 am in our town centre stores. Our aim is to make it harder for people who are already drunk to purchase more alcohol,” said Mr Bond.

Finally ASDA announced today that it is de-listing high alcohol fruit flavoured shot sized ‘shooters’ from its range, following calls by campaigners that these types of drinks are particularly attractive to underage drinkers.

Andy Bond added: "I believe our targeted measures will go a long way towards tackling the issue of underage sales, and alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour. However I am not in favour of indiscriminate price rises which would disproportionately hit the vast majority of people who drink sensibly and in moderation.

“Unlike some in the industry I am also not prepared to hide behind calls for more legislation. I believe there are plenty of things we can do now to start tackling this important social issue, which is why we are announcing these measures today.”

Posted in Press Centre on 25 February 2008