Discussing :: Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel has called for supermarkets to "lose the right" to sell alcohol. She says supermarkets sell alcohol at a loss to entice people into their stores to buy other products. "For supermarkets, selling liquor is a licence to print money" and the low prices helped to "promote the abuse of liquor", the Otago Daily Times reported today. (Not if they are selling it at a loss as the MP suggests!!) Supermarkets have been allowed to sell wine since 1989 and beer since 1999. Ms Dalziel voted against the 1999 change after entering Parliament in 1990. Speaking at a Labour-organised forum in Dunedin yesterday on the Sale and Supply of Liquor and Liquor... read full article


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

If the floor space is to be greater than 150 sp m - then most of your local dairies that sell wine, even some liquor stores won't be able to sell alcohol anymore; this seems preposterous. Not to mention supermarkets selling alcohol is for most people a convenience thing, what's the harm? They sell it below cost... again what's the harm to the consumer?


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

More outlets selling alcohol isn't the problem. It's people's attitude to alcohol that is the problem. And for that matter every other problem like cigarettes, drugs, speeding, beating people up, etc.

Most people drink sensibly. Making alcohol accessible isn't the issue. We brew beer and cider so I'm not a teetotaller by any means. We just have the odd drink with dinner or friends and that's it. Why should the majority of people be inconvenienced or penalised by a minority of abusers?

I think good attidudes start at home. Kids need to be told and understand what's right and wrong, what's acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Where else are you meant to learn something if not at home? It shouldn't be a school's responsiblity to teach kids good behaviour and pick up the pieces that parents neglect to do. Schools are there to teach students not become surrogate parents.

For some reason drinking massive amounts of alcohol appears to be something cool and accepted. Arriving here at 18 years I was rather confounded to find out that drinking a yard glass was something one did at your 21st birthday with your parents, family and friends cheering you on. Is this some accomplishment to be proud of? Why?

But if that's something expected at a 21st birthday, it's a small wonder that drinking massive amounts of alcohol is accepted social behaviour. Changes to attitutes to alcohol need to start at home and at an early age and has to happen throughout society. It would be difficult to legislate to make a difference.

Shops & dairies have a choice about whether they sell alcohol or not. I'm certain no one sells alcohol at a lost. No one's forcing a vendor to sell alcohol. And no one's forcing anyone to drink alcohol. It's attitudes that need to change, not the law.

I agree that it is about the attitude not the law, Parents buy alcohol for their underage teens to go to parties and send the message that it is OK to get pissed.

Agreed, laws won't solve any issue like this - where there's a will there's always a way even at a drinking age limit of 21 I was still on the chop at 13 years of age. All this is is a bunch of useless politicians trying to look like they're the opposite.

I believe that supermarkets need to sell alcohol as they are one of the safest most reliable place to sell it as any purchaser must be cleared by the on site manager. Underage kids usually go and find a dodgy shop as it is hard to buy from the supermarkets.

Plus when i go to buy some beer i come out with a whole bunch of other crap too so it works for them.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

Over the last few years that i know of, supermarkets and liquor outlets every so often undergo a police sting to see which outlets sell alcohol to minors, and every time supermarkets are the ones that fail the sting by selling alcohol to minors.

I think that supermarkets should loose the right to sell it, supermarkets make it to easy to obtain alcohol which fuels the culture to drink till you drop.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

Todadisko, I cannot agree with you completely on this one. The objective as I see it is to stop these small operators selling alcohol.
First, they are much more vulnerable to thugs wanting to steal the stuff, mostly one or two people working there at any time.
Next, they are often open very late at nights, later than most supermarkets or pub off-licences. So people can buy extra alcohol after a heavy binge drinking session and carry on until thye end up smashed in a car or in hospital with alcohol poisoning. Believe me, it happens, I have family this has happened to!
Last, they are never going to be as strict about selling to under age kids as mainstream supermarkets are. Both major Chains now require Supervisor authority to sell any wines or beer as you will have noticed.
So stopping those sales will make their own businesses safer, reduce sales to under age and already drunk people, and hopefully make life safer for all of us.

I do not see any chance that main supermarkets will really be banned from selling, and I agree with you that this convenience should not be stopped. That comment was just an old Labour Nanny State person who has not caught up with the fact that the public have had a gutsful of their thinking!
Daphne, I, like you think the yardglass culture has had its day. NZ has moved on from that extreme yobbo behaviour surely? I attended a 21st a couple of years ago and the guy resisted the pressure of his mates and would not drink one, good on him!


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

I'd just like to say that the title to this article is completely misleading. It should really say "Should DAIRIES lose the right to sell alcohol," given that few supermarkets are smaller than 150m2 of floor space.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

"She says supermarkets sell alcohol at a loss to entice people into their stores to buy other products.

"For supermarkets, selling liquor is a licence to print money" and the low prices helped to "promote the abuse of liquor", the Otago Daily Times reported today. (Not if they are selling it at a loss as the MP suggests!!)"

That says it all really. She's contradicting herself right off the bat. Or a journalist at the ODT if trying to make her look stupid. Or both.

Nailed it, real question is how do we get a group of people with some intelligence, credibility [add favorable human qualities here] running our country.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

Hi guys, some really good comments on this issue, thanks.

May I defend myself just a little here with Darran. The heading is just as issued by NZPA based on the Labour MP's comments at the Labour organised Forum on the Bill in front of the Select Committee.

This Bill was created by Labour but their MP thinks it should be widened to include supermarkets.

Hayden, you are certainly right in that the two statements totally conflict! Lianne is talking about the supermarkets using some alcohol lines as loss leaders to bring us into the store, and no question, that is true. I hope they keep doing it! Why should us responsible drinkers not buy a good wine at a great price if they offer it?

But the ODT comment is harder to follow. I don't buy more stuff when I shop just because I bought a lower priced bottle of wine, do you?

Loss leading would definitely lead to extra purchases, I know our family have done it for years just on the price of Coca-Cola deals. I've tried searching up for some decent statistics, but with supermarkets and the volume of transactions they'd hold a dream opportunity for tracking strategies like these in real time, and the fact that it has continued for as long as I can remember points to effectiveness in the strategy.

HOWEVER - I think this is such a dud and mute aspect of the argument and again just some short(media) sighted politician trying to look like she's doing a job.

I found this report on Alcohol Advisory Council website studying 'The entry of supermarkets to the alcohol market has (to a degree) reduced the impact of alcohol excise duty in minimising harms'


It concludes that 'wine prices have dropped as a result of supermarkets entering market. Alcohol prices at supermarkets are in the order of 5 to 10% below those of other stores'

Now place that in perspective with a $10 bottle of wine, is 50cents to dollar going to stop you from buying a bottle of wine if you're out to get lashed - no.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

At the end of the day we live in a so called democratic free society. If we start controlling where people can buy a (let me remind you all LEGAL substance to those of age) then we start to take away those freedoms. It starts with alcohol and it only builds and don't think I'm going all totalitarian 1984 on you but think about it if we allow them to start restricting where we can purchase things in terms of the size of the premises etc then we are letting large companies gain a monoploly over alcohol.

I think (although an argument) it is unjust to say that small stores are at risk of theft and burglary when so are the big stores. In fact big stores are easier to do it as they OFTEN have just as small amount of staff as the smaller ones (im thinking The Mill in Wellington) and because their so big they can't keep their eyes everywhere.

Be very very careful before you decide its a good idea to get rid of the lil man.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

It seems to me though, that the corner Dairy or small Superette has been the target of the robberies and violence, and often alcohol is the thing that brings in the thugs. I have not heard of a major supermarket or Liquor Store being done over.

I also think that there is plenty of competition in this sector, so that the little guy is not a critical factor in keeping prices down. But a few of those small operators are the ones who damage things for the rest by selling to under age kids, stocking bongs and drug use equipment and so on.

Alcohol has been a social problem for a long time, and no way do I suggest going back to prohibition. But a higher level or outlet does help reduce the crime/violence level I feel sure.


Should supermarkets lose right to sell alcohol

Building on my comment above - We've now seen the supermarkets agree not to sell under cost as loss leaders 'to help stem underage drinking'

Lets take for example of loss leading by 10% which would be unheard of for supermarkets, which on a per bottle basis would save you a $1 on a $10 bottle of wine - would that stop you / encourage you to buy / not buy?

No, but that looks great in the eyes of the PC

Now take another look from the business side, that 10% is huge for a business when combining 1000's of bottles - so now that has been taken out of the market - small / local / bootlegging store now have a better chance of making profit and staying in business.

Problem being these small store don't have the robust systems to stop underage buyers and selling to intoxicated people.

Result: As with most of the media hyped / PC bullshit on the surface it looks great and we should all be celebrating but in reality we've just made the situation worse.


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