Trade: 'be tougher on supermarkets'

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol promotions, Supermarket, Retailing

Supermarket beer: promos should be moved  from entrances, says Lansley
Supermarket beer: promos should be moved from entrances, says Lansley
Trade leaders and licensees have urged the Government to take more robust action over the failure of supermarkets to curb promos.

Trade leaders and licensees have urged the Government to take more robust action over the failure of supermarkets to remove alcohol promotions from the entrances to their stores.

The calls come as health secretary Andrew Lansley wrote to the major supermarkets last week reiterating a request that super-markets pledge to remove alcohol promotions from the entrances of retail outlets where they are in plain view of shoppers.

Lansley sent letters to Sainsbury's, Tesco, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose advising that they commit to the government's 'responsibility deal'.

Currently, only Asda has removed alcohol promotions from the front of their stores.

However, those within the pub industry were lukewarm over the minister's approach.

Michael Kheng, a Lincolnshire-based multiple operator and campaigner against supermarket prices, said: "It is only the tip of the iceberg — if supermarkets are going to move deals from the front of their stores, there must also be a concerted effort to stop them advertising the promotions on television."

Tony Brookes, managing director of Newcastle-based pub group The Head of Steam, maintained: "Anything that supermarkets sign up to voluntarily is not going to work.

"If we are going to avoid a situation where something like 70% of drinks are going to be sold from supermarkets, there has to be a government policy that sets out a proper definition of the cost of production which no alcohol can be sold below, and I wholeheartedly support a policy of minimum pricing on alcohol.

"What we really need now is a more robust policy which defines a more realistic price for alcohol as opposed to the phoney price charged by supermarkets."

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers supported moves by the minister for self-regulation. However, Nick Bish, chief executive, added: "The proposed legislation on below-cost selling is currently insufficient to make a difference, but so long as they remain committed to the responsibility deal, we shouldn't be too grumpy because that is something we are part of."

Related topics: Legislation

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