National Off-Licence Association meets with Minister for Small Business
The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) welcomed the opportunity to meet with Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D., to outline their members concerns about the survival of the independent off-licence sector.
Speaking with the Minister, NOffLA Chairperson, Evelyn Jones highlighted said, “Since 2008, 48 independent off-licences have ceased trading which represents almost 2,400 job losses in counties all over Ireland.
The factors that have led to these closures include the deregulation of licenses; the repeal of the Groceries Order in 2006; inconsistent application of planning rules relating to alcohol; reduced operating hours; and the reliance on an inadequate voluntary Code of Practice for the separation of alcohol products and for using alcohol as an advertising and promotional tool.
Ms Jones highlighted that, “Independent off-licences cannot compete with mixed trading premises that use alcohol to drive footfall in order to sell other dearer non-alcohol products.
“Prior to the abolition of the Groceries Order in 2006, it wasn’t possible to sell alcohol at below cost. That situation has certainly changed. The latest volume deal is now to buy two 20 packs of premium branded beer for €25. This type of selling is just irresponsible and dangerous.”
NOffLA welcomed the Ministers invitation to make a submission to the Advisory Group for Small Business and looks forward to meeting the Group to discuss the ways in which this important specialist sector can be saved.