Brookes blitz on cheap supermarket booze

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cheap supermarket deals Alcoholic beverage Michael kheng

Supermarkets: are they acting responsibly?
Supermarkets: are they acting responsibly?
A successful pub entrepreneur has called for a trade revolution to blitz the cheap supermarket deals on alcohol. Tony Brookes, who runs nine pubs in...

A successful pub entrepreneur has called for a trade revolution to blitz the cheap supermarket deals on alcohol.

Tony Brookes, who runs nine pubs in the North East, wants pub licensees to march down to their local supermarkets and take a note of all drinks deals, particularly those that are selling alcohol below cost — less than the combined cost of duty and VAT.

He is urging licensees to then email details to their local MP, ministers responsible for pubs, local, trade and national papers highlighting the below-cost sales.

"We need to stop these ultra cheap deals in the supermarkets," said Brookes, who has previously run Stuff the Supermarket campaigns.

"We need to create a storm of protest otherwise in five years time pubs will be closed and society will resemble Hogarth's Gin Street.

"Supermarkets need to be persuaded by legislation that selling alcohol — a drug — below cost is just not right. Why don't they do it on products people need like bread, cabbages or baked beans?"

Brookes believes pubs are the only responsible place to consumer alcohol. "Pubs are the number one social place to go for entertainment and socialising.

"They are highly regulated with a designated premises supervisor, trained staff with the sword of Damacles hanging over them if they put a foot wrong and regulated by health and safety policies and everyone else."

Fellow multiple pub lessee Michael Kheng of the Kurnia Group gave his full backing to the campaign. Kheng runs a Facebook group where licensees can highlight deals.

"I absolutely support this," he said. "A recent deal on Carslberg Export in Asda meant they were selling cans for just 2p after VAT and duty. Who can produce, can, distribute, stack and sell a can for 2p? 100% a loss leader. In the on trade we are told that if we sell below £1 it is irresponsible."

Action plan

• Get down to your local supermarket and note down the deals on offer.

• Download Michael Kheng's Unit Calculator​ to work out the cost minus duty and VAT. Just fill in the boxes highlighted in yellow.

• Email you local MP about the deals. Find contact details here​.

• Email us at​ with the details and picture if you have one.

• Join Michael Kheng's Facebook group: Make People Aware of the Irresponsible Drinks Promotions in Supermarkets​.

Related topics Legislation

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