Alcohol Concern is calling for supermarkets and off-licenses to confine displays of alcohol to a single area of their premises, claiming the widespread promotion of alcohol helps to fuel a harmful drinking culture. The charity conducted research that found alcohol is sold throughout stores, in doorways, on end-of-aisle displays, by checkouts, and alongside everyday groceries such as bread and milk.
The restriction is already in place in Scotland and is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, whilst 70% of 1,000 supermarket customers in Wales back the proposal according to the report. In a press release, Alcohol Concern's Don Shenker said "Such practices promote alcohol as a normal commodity... saturating every aisle of a store with alcohol displays, demonstrates, once again, that big supermarkets are intent on placing their profits above public health."
Whilst on-trade groups spoke in support of the call, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the findings were based on a "very small-scale survey" of just four stores in a single UK city. Andrew Opie, the BRC's food director claimed: "Supermarkets are the most responsible sellers of alcohol. There's no evidence to link the way alcohol is sold currently to irresponsible drinking." See Sky news report.
See here for a recent AERC research report into managing 'alcohol supply point' areas.