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Irish Publicans Combat Supermarket Alcohol Pricing

Published on Jan 5 2011 11:48 AM in Drinks

Irish Publicans Combat Supermarket Alcohol Pricing

The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) has called for a minimum price to be set on off-trade alcohol sales, saying it is the 'only way' that public houses can survive the competition from below-cost supermarket sales of alcohol. The group added that the removal of restrictions on below-cost selling of alcohol in supermarkets meant that publicans could not compete with the low prices charged by supermarkets.

The Irish Revenue Commissioners have released figures showing that the number of pub licences in Ireland over the past five years has fallen by over 1,300. But the move to introduce a minimum price on alcohol could give rise to legal issues under competition legislation, which would have to be considered by the Competition Authority of Ireland.

The problem is not just reserved for Ireland, however, as there have been widespread criticism of the move by a leading UK supermarket chain to sell cans of lager at less than 20p each. A Co-op store in Stockport, Greater Manchester ran a promotion in December where customers could purchase four cans of the store’s own-brand beer for 79p (€0.92) (5 Jan)© 2011 - ESM: European Supermarket Magazine

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