Strict drinks display rules get go-ahead
Plans to crack down on the display of alcohol in Scottish stores have been given final approval by the Scottish Justice Committee.
The laws, which have been widely condemned by retailers and trade bodies, will be attached as conditions to new-style personal and premises licences coming into force on Sept 1 2009 as part of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.
Retailers will have to display alcohol – including chillers – in one designated area, and will only be able to change that area through a licence review.
The laws will usher in an end to cross-promotion of food and alcohol in Scotland. Retailers will not be able to display alcohol in food areas, or sell food within the BWS area. The only non-alcohol products permitted to be sold in the BWS area will be non-alcohol drinks or gift packs which include alcohol.
There will be no restrictions on the types of product displayed in an area inacceesible to the public - for example, behind the counter.
In a briefing note, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association – which lobbied against the changes – said there was no effective evidence base for the move and it was disappointed by the decision.