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Retail Viewpoint: Cheap booze costs lives

Statistics from Sheffield University recently showed that the setting of a minimum price for alcohol of 50p would save 3,400 lives per year and involve the moderate drinker paying only £12 per annum more for their drinks. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail Viewpoint: Cheap booze costs lives

Statistics from Sheffield University recently showed that the setting of a minimum price for alcohol of 50p would save 3,400 lives per year and involve the moderate drinker paying only £12 per annum more for their drinks. By Glynn Davis, City editor

This sounds rather similar to the line coming from the chief medical officer for Scotland Harry Burns, who has also stated that he believes the plans by

the SNP to introduce a minimum pricing regime for booze is likely to save lives. That would suggest some consensus from the people who should have an insight into the link between price, consumption and health.

Meanwhile back in supermarket land, figures the other week from Nielsen showed that a chunky 47 per cent of all alcohol sold in stores are products on promotion - up from a mere eight per cent last year. This includes a cornucopia of cheap-as-chips deals such as the recent three cases of Strongbow for only £18 at Morrisons.

If the aggressive promotion of alcohol leads to increased consumption, which then leads to anarchy on the streets at weekends and deaths then it is hardly surprising that the retail sector continues to find itself in the firing line over how it sells booze.

Legislation is very rarely a good thing so if the retail industry wants to avoid being ultimately taken down this route by the government then maybe it should try acting a tad more responsibly, just like it tells its customers to do as they struggle out the door laden down with cheap booze.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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