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Ethical retailer ends ‘super-strength’ booze sales in all its stores

09 December 2013 16:00

Ethical retailer ends ‘super-strength’ booze sales in all its stores

The East of England Co-op has now put an end to the sale of cheap, super-strength beers and ciders in all its stores following a successful pilot scheme to help reduce alcohol-related health problems and anti-social behaviour. 

The roll-out of the ‘Reducing the Strength’ campaign to 43 East of England Co-op stores in Essex, as well as 35 stores across Norfolk, follows the success of the campaign in Suffolk where the sale of very low cost beer and cider with an alcohol volume of more than 6.5 % ended in September 2012. 

Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown, Essex Police’s district commander for Colchester, said: “We are looking at ways of reducing the number of alcohol related incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking. 

“We welcome the initiative being taken by the East of England Co-op to remove the problem at source. Alcohol related anti-social behaviour can make the public feel very intimidated, alarmed and distressed.  We need to do all we can to ensure Colchester can be enjoyed by all.” 

Roger Grosvenor, Executive Officer – retail for the East of England Co-op said: “I am extremely pleased to announce that sales of cheap, super-strength lager and cider will stop in all our stores. Our partnership work has shown how removing the problem at source can help reduce anti-social behaviour in the local areas where we trade.  As an ethical retailer, we want to ensure all our local communities can benefit from the positive effect such action can achieve.” 

Super-strength alcohol can have a serious effect on health and can do immense damage to the body, both physically and mentally. Just one 500ml can of 9% super strength lager contains four and a half units of alcohol, exceeding the Government’s daily recommended safe alcohol limit for both women (2 to 3 units) and men (3 to 4 units). Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to health problems such as liver disease, cancer or even a stroke. Other consequences include depression, impotence and excessive weight gain. 

Roger Grosvenor added: “We hope to encourage other retailers in the county to take similar action. Our trials in Ipswich showed that the volume of alcohol sales remained consistent and yet the number of alcohol units bought by customers dropped by 113,000. So this is not only good news for customers and communities, it’s good for business too.”