I welcome the decision to bring in a minimum unit price (MUP) on alcohol in Scotland.
I think it will lead to people consuming fewer units of alcohol and will give us a fairer chance of competing with the multiples.
My shop is in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, on the same road as an Iceland that sells 3l Frosty Jack’s, 22.5 units, for £3.49. Then there’s Home Bargains selling HCC cider cans, which contain 3.8 units of alcohol, for 75p each, even though they are price-marked at 99p.
Alcohol addiction is a serious problem in my area. Some customers come into my store and buy two 3l Frosty Jack’s at least four times a week.
I think MUP is the beginning of a process, which hopefully leads to people consuming fewer units of alcohol daily. For the same money, shoppers will have to drink lower-strength alcohol.
Education about the harmful effects has to be increased as well. Too many young people die due to misuse.
By the date of implementation, smart retailers will have no stock of high-strength alcohol because they know the spending habits of their customers and they will not pay those prices.
Manufacturers of higher-strength products will need to adapt because customers will not pay £11.25 for three litres of cider, which is what Frosty Jack’s is predicted to cost under MUP.
We’ve already seen some lower-strength HCC cider and I believe the most harmful super-strength ciders and beers will disappear from stores and then logically from wholesalers.
I anticipate that customers will move from these products to smaller bottles of spirits as their price will not be affected by MUP, or to Buckfast or Eldorado.
A side effect of MUP is that retailers will have a fairer chance of competing with the multiples.
At the moment, litres of vodka and whisky are regularly sold on offer at £15 each and cases of beer at £7 each. This will no longer be the case once MUP is implemented.
Airdrie, North Lanarkshire