With news that the government is planning to end the cheap booze promotions in April in a bid to ease strain on public resources such as the NHS and Police, where else will it impact? There's no doubt that something needs to be done about the levels of violence and crime that result from binge drinking. Anyone who has been to A&E on a Friday or Saturday night will see resoruces stretched with staff and other patients as risk from disorderly behaviour; all of which costs the tax payer around £3 billion a year.
From a reatil point of view drinks promotions are an important part of the display materials we install. With the Scottish already cracking down on 'irresponsible drinks promotions' and the rest of the UK shortly to follow will we see less emphasis on this kind of display material in-store?
Unlike the Scots who have a blanket minimum price per unit here the government has opted to rule that it will be illegal to charge less than the duty and VAT. Many supermarkets sell alcoholic items as loss leaders to encourage shoppers to their store. The campaign to target supermarkets and bars promoting cut price drinks started about three years ago and has quickly gathered momentum, resulting in changes coming in to place on April 6th 2012:
There are some suggestions that it won't have much impact and retailers will find other ways to promote alcohol, as they don't have to take in to account the manufacturing costs when pricing and they will just absorb this elsewhere. Either way it's a difficult and contentious issue and the problem of binge drinking goes much deeper in society than how much the alcohol costs per unit.