Promos help offset alcohol duty rise 

Wholesale promotions on alcohol have limited negative customer feedback to changes in duty implemented this month

On 1 August, a new alcohol duty system based on strength and volume was introduced, leading to price changes on hundreds of lines. The changes meant some wine and spirit products had price increases ranging from 35-65p, while pre-mix cans saw a decrease in cost. 

However, any initial backlash from customers was prevented as the increases were introduced at the same time as strong alcohol promotions. Serge Notay, of Notay’s Premier in Batley, West Yorkshire, told RN that Booker promotions running until the end of August meant many beer lines were unaffected. He said: “I have to praise Booker as it meant customers didn’t notice any impact. It also gives me more time to work out how I can inform customers about the changes.” 

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Impact of August booze duty change revealed

Some retailers, such as Martin Lightfoot, of Londis Solo Convenience in Glasgow, did face a negative reaction from customers. He said: “Customers aren’t aware and we’ve had to try and explain it’s not us putting the prices up.” 

One Spar retailer faced an increased workload to accommodate the new duty, telling RN: “I’ve got 25 products which need the labelling changing throughout my store to reflect the price changes.” 

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