Press Centre

Shoppers oppose ban on promotions and minimum pricing on alcohol

Two thirds of supermarket shoppers in Scotland oppose Government proposals to ban the use of multi-buy promotions on alcohol while 61 per cent oppose the introduction of minimum pricing levels.

In the most comprehensive survey ASDA has ever conducted in Scotland, 10,000 customers gave their reactions to Government proposals included in the consultation – Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol.

Almost 60 per cent of those interviewed said that neither setting minimum prices, nor banning promotions would be effective in lowering consumption of alcohol, while almost three quarters of shoppers strongly rejected proposals that would force them to purchase alcohol at a separate checkout, in effect making people queue up twice when doing the weekly shop.

Paul Kelly, corporate affairs director for ASDA, said: “Two thirds of customers in Scotland told us they do not support the Government’s proposals for a ban on promotions while 61per cent do not support minimum pricing levels. Customers do not believe the measures will achieve the outcome Government wants.

Tough new changes to the display of alcohol and the times we can sell to shoppers are already due in 2009 – we believe that we should let one set of reforms take place before making further changes.

“While everyone accepts that some people drink too much and the pressures this puts on public services and the public purse, penalising the vast majority of shoppers – in these tough economic times – is hugely unpopular.

“We are keen to work with the Government to reach common ground on how best to deal with alcohol abuse. That’s why today we are announcing that in Scotland from 30th September 2008, we will no longer sell beer or cider lines with ‘free extra’ product in them (e.g. cans of beer with 13.5% free).”

As a responsible retailer, ASDA has already embarked on 22 separate anti-alcohol abuse measures and has announced a £1 million donation to combat youth alcohol abuse and continues to examine what other steps that it could take to help address this deeply routed and complex social and cultural problem.

Posted in Press Centre on 09 September 2008