Business blog

External influences - supermarkets reducing promotions on alcohol

The Grocer magazine reports that major supermarkets have fewer promotions on alcohol this January than they did a year ago. The trend was most noticeable at Asda, where alcohol makes up 13% of all promotions compared with 26% last year, and on average the proportion has fallen from 26% to 22%. Meanwhile promotions on fruit and vegetables have risen from 11.5% a year ago to 14% now (and in Morrsons, from zero to 2%). Last week the proposals to limit pubs in the number and type of promotions that they were allowed to offer to encourage drinkers (women drink free, all you can drink for £10 and so on) were criticised because they applied to pubs and clubs only and would have no effect on cut-price promotions from retailers of alcohol. Perhaps the supermarkets are opting to cut the number of price promotions that they offer in order to try to avoid regulation being applied to them - last week, Health Secretary Andy Burnham hinted the government was considering minimum pricing to tackle “ludicrously cheap booze”.

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