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Viewpoint: Alcohol headache for Fresh & Easy

Certain pressure groups in the US appear to have no worries at all about kicking a man while he is down. Tesco-owned grocery chain Fresh & Easy in Los Angeles has come in for some stick for its self checkouts apparently enabling alcohol to be bought easily by minors. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Viewpoint: Alcohol headache for Fresh & Easy

In a survey carried out by University of California (UCLA) and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which has criticised the chain in t
he past, the findings report that the supermarket allowed underage purchases to be made by 20 per cent of consumers.

Although the self-checkout tills are supposed to lock when alcohol is scanned (and ID then physically checked by a staff member) this did not always happen. To make matters worse the stores' employees also did not check the ID of consumers who looked under the age of 30. And there was also a lax approach to checking people for their levels of intoxication.

The major supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco, make great claims about the level of responsibility they show towards serving alcohol. They pride themselves on the limited number of times they are caught out selling it to people underage when anonymously tested.

They clearly prefer to restrict their irresponsibility with regards to alcohol to just flogging the stuff at ludicrously low prices, sometimes below-cost, to that population grouping called adults.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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