Supermarkets Attacked For Irresponsible Promotions On Alcohol

Supermarkets have been criticised for offering alcohol at bargain prices in the run-up to Christmas .
Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland said the big four grocery retailers – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – have started an “unholy price war” by pushing “irresponsible promotions” on well-known spirits and liqueurs to lure shoppers into their stores.
The MP, chairman of the all-party Save the Pub group, claimed such offers do not encourage responsible drinking and are harming the UK’s pub industry, “which is being undercut by large supermarket chains who can afford to sell alcohol below cost”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Mulholland said: “As we approach the festive season of Christmas, an unholy price war has broken out in the supermarkets over the sale of alcohol.”
“Tesco are now offering two 70 centilitre bottles of top spirit brands for just £20, Asda selling one litre bottles of spirits for just £15 and Sainsbury’s and Morrisons selling Baileys at half price.”
“The Save the Pub Group warmly welcomes the Government’s intentions to bring in a ban on below-cost selling but can I ask for a statement on when that will happen and if indeed it will also cover such irresponsible promotions that don’t do anything to encourage responsible drinking and damage the pub?”
Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s defended their offers. A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are coming up to Christmas, purse strings are tight and people are looking to save money . We are not just doing special offers on alcohol either, but things like Pringles and Sprite.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesman commented: “It is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of our customers buy alcohol as part of their weekly shop and drink responsibly in their own home.”