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Scotland alcohol sales fall after offers banned

9th December 2011

The ban on alcohol multi-buy deals – introduced in Scotland on October 1 – has seen a drop in alcohol sales in supermarkets and stores.

Figures from retail analysts Neilsen showed wine sales fell by 5%, spirits by 3% and beer by 8%, since the ban came into force, compared with 2010.

In England and Wales wine sales went down by 4%, spirits by 1% but beer sales rose by 1%.

Gavin Humphreys from Neilsen said: “Whilst we cannot categorically attribute all the declines in Scotland purely down to the multi-buy ban, it does appear that the measure has had an impact.

“There will be other factors at play influencing shopper behaviour such as the economy and general cutting back and stretching of budgets.

“But if the measure was designed to cut consumption then the immediate sales figures suggest it is working.”

The Alcohol Scotland Act also restricts alcohol advertising around premises, and brings in age verification checks and a new tax on some licence holders.

Dr John Holmes from the University of Sheffield, who advised the Scottish government on the multi-buy legislation, said the figures were encouraging.

He added: “A huge amount is being consumed by a small proportion of people, so if you can enact policies which hit the consumption of those drinkers, you can have a huge impact on alcohol related harm.”

Alcohol pricing is being reviewed across the rest of the UK, with a ban on the sale below a minimum price to be introduced in England and Wales from April 2012.

 

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