Convenience stores are struggling to remain compliant with age-restricted product laws due to the “overburden of new legislation”.
Underage Sales retail advisor and former trading standards officer Victoria Gale told Retail Express: “It’s very rare to find stores that are completely compliant. I’ve come across maybe a handful in my work.”
During a series of shop visits by Retail Express and Under Age Sales, several issues were found relating to alcohol licensing, tobacco legislation, data protection and pricing laws.
While many of the breaches were small, the impact on retailers can be huge. Gale said on some days only half of the retailers she visits are displaying the statutory tobacco age warning. “The sign is a legal requirement and only costs £1 for the poster, compared to a maximum £1,000 fine for failure to display it,” she explained.
Another common issue included failing to display the price of each tobacco line sold either on a poster, a booklet kept behind the till or on gantry shelf edges.
Gale added: “There are always new laws that can overburden shopkeepers, but it is essential to keep an eye on any changes.”