Blog: James WilmoreThe off-trade: the elephant in the room again?

James Wilmore | 31 August 2012

As is so often the case in the UK, the off-trade appears to be the elephant in the room when it comes to tackling concerns around alcohol. 

From tomorrow, a new self-regulatory code governing irresponsible promotions in Northern Ireland comes into force. I'm assured the code covers the off-trade, as well as the on-trade. But a glance at the code document suggests otherwise. 

Interestingly, the Pubs of Ulster trade group is backing the code, so they must acknowledge there is a problem to be addressed in the on-trade. 

Publicans in England and Wales have for a long time pointed the finger at the major supermarkets as being the real culprits when it comes to alcohol-related issues, due to their deep discounting. 

Perhaps Northern Ireland's licensees are holding out for minimum pricing to address the problem of cut-price off-trade deals? 

 


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