Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Supermarkets and alcohol

Tesco supermarket claim they want to help create a  climate of responsible drinking. They say they want to work with government on legislation that would limit its ability to sell cut price alcohol. They point out that the government must take the lead because it would be 'commercial suicide' to act alone. They also emphasise that supermarkets can't work together to put up prices because that would be against commercial law.

I was in my local Tesco yesterday. Previously, there were two long aisles of alcohol at the most distant point to the entrance. Recently, they've introduced a long aisle (one side) full of alcohol, along with large 50% reduction signs, right at the point of entry. I came across at least one other alcohol section in another part of the supermarket - it was as if I needed to be reminded to purchase my booze.
On the one hand, we see supermarkets aggressively marketing the drug which is causing the greatest harm in this country. On the other, they want to help people drink responsibly. Well government, get to work and see whether the supermarkets will genuinely help create more responsible drinking in this country - and reduce their own sales! 

2 comments:

Peter O'Loughlin said...

For anyone recovering, or attempting to recover from the devastaing disruption that alcohol can and does inflict on many people, a walk around Tesoc's is not to be recommended; the temptation to sucumb is overwhelming for vulnerable people.

If Tesco and indeed the alcoholic drinks industry were sincere about their their professed concerns of alcohol misuse they could show by example, rather then rhetoric, their sincerity.

Tesco could strart by being less blatant about how they display booze and stop using it as a 'loss leader'.

The alcoholic drinks industry could stop using glamourous scenes and people giving the impression that booze is so much fun and exciting that life without it is less than complete.

They could also put out graphic warnings that booze destroys brain cells and increases violent tendencies. Then again perhaps we can teach pigs to fly.

Anonymous said...

To what extent is it the case that 'booze destroys brain cells'?