Sunday, 4 January 2009

Weatherspoons Drink Promotions

The BBC are reporting that JD Weatherspoons are offering beer at 99p a pint under a new promotion.  The promotion is apparently 'indefinite'.

On the one hand I should be welcoming the free market offering a less expensive commodity.  On the other hand it sends a very poor message about alcohol use.

We all enjoy alcohol and indeed I make part of my living through my business selling it at Rubyz.  However, one of the problems with alcohol misuse has become the freedom of its availability.  

Supermarkets are already selling it as a loss leader.  Now Weatherspoons are offering it at a price that simply can't make a profit for them, their assumption must be that those accompanying the customers buying the cheap beer will spend on their other products that do make a profit.

Alcohol sales need to be regulated, with a minimum per unit price invoked, for both 'on' sales (in pubs, bars and restaurants) and 'off' sales (in supermarkets and shops).  That's not going to stop the problem of binge drinking, it will however place a break on the ability to buy very large amounts of cheaply produced liquor for very little money. 

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