NOffLA calls for Government to regulate alcohol retailing “immediately”

“Alcohol is currently sold as a loss-leader in many mixed trading outlets with little oversight or protections in place.”
“Alcohol is currently sold as a loss-leader in many mixed trading outlets with little oversight or protections in place.”

A survey of NOffLA members has revealed that government inaction in regulating the retail of alcohol has had serious implications for independent off-licences.



15 May 2013

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The survey, taken from a sample of 80 of NOffLA’s members,  found:
·             54% experienced a decline in turnover for 2012
·             46% expect a decline in turnover for 2013
·             In the three alcohol sales categories (wine, beer and spirits) 70% experienced a decline in all three categories.       

·             78% of NOffLA’s members cited the recession, discounting of alcohol products and a lack of regulation as the top three reasons for this decline.

Following its AGM yesterday, the National Off-Licence Association again called on the Government to regulate the alcohol retail sector immediately.

“The NOffLA members’ survey serves once again to highlight the grossly unfair trading environment independent off-licences find themselves in," commented NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones, “This is most soberingly illustrated by the fact that 22 off-licences closed in 2012, while seven have already shut their doors in 2013 alone. Words are no longer enough, strong actions must be taken by government now,” she said.

“NOffLA have patiently waited for serious action to be taken by the government to stem the irresponsible retail of alcohol in Ireland and also the country’s unhealthy relationship with this product. However, this action has not been forthcoming,” she continued.

NOffLA has repeatedly called for the Government to put a proper legal framework around the sale of alcohol, pointing out that if this is not done as soon as possible, more jobs amongst independent off-licences based the length and breadth across Ireland will be lost and the local economy will suffer a further blow. In addition to this, Ireland’s irresponsible relationship with alcohol will continue which will be to the detriment of the country’s young people.

“NOffLA have always advocated for the highest retail standards to be applied to the sale of alcohol,” continued Evelyn Jones, “For example, all of NOffLA’s members must train their staff using NOffLA’s Responsible Trading Certificate (RTC) which ensures that independent off-licence employees are highly trained in retailing alcohol. However, alcohol is currently sold as a loss-leader in many mixed trading outlets with little oversight or protections in place.

“Simple steps can be taken to address both this unfair trading environment and also the inherent health problems with irresponsible alcohol consumption.

“NOffLA appeals to the government to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol, ban below-cost selling of alcohol in mixed trading outlets and implement the division of alcohol from everyday household products through structural separation which is contained in a previous piece of legislation.

“This multipronged approach is essential in ensuring Ireland has a more responsible relationship with alcohol and that local jobs across the entire country are protected,” said the NOffLA Chairperson.




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