Cross channel shopping gets a boost from Gordon Brown

A large glass of red wine contains about three...Image via WikipediaBased on today's announcement in the Queen's speech, booze cruises across the channel could see a resurgence of interest.

The proposed measures are intended to ban drink promotions in supermarkets, as part of measures to discourage alcohol abuse and drink related problems. As a consequence, retailers will not be able to offer discounts on bulk purchase of alcohol, regardless of how many a customer buys.

Hence, no more "two for ones" or "20% off if you buy six bottles" or "three bottles of wine for £10". Even multipacks of beer/lager cannot be sold for an average unit price which is less than the items are sold individually.

Most businesses are driven by volume and hence offering discounts for buying more is common-place. To remove this facility will be to the detriment of breweries, wineries and consumers alike.

The group who are expected to be hardest hit by this will be wine buyers, which was acknowledged in a Government sponsored study by the University of Sheffield.

Unless the supermarkets find a way to circumvent these measures e.g. they could drop individual prices, I suspect that the attraction of cross channel trips to France to stock up on cheap wine and beer will see renewed interest, as French retailers will not be constrained. The Euro is relatively expensive at the moment which will act as a discouragement, but it may not be a deterrent for long.

At the same time, no one will be able to consider this as a populist measure. Increasing the cost of alcohol at a time when there is increasing gloom is hardly going to cheer people up.
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posted by John Wilson @ 8:44 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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