Huge progress on under-age sales

THE Co-op Movement has pledged to continue working with the Government to eliminate sales of alcohol to young people under 18 after figures released by the Home Office...

THE Co-op Movement has pledged to continue working with the Government to eliminate sales of alcohol to young people under 18 after figures released by the Home Office put the Co-op third from bottom of a table of offending retailers.
However the fact that the ratio of "successful" secret test purchases in Co-op supermarkets across the UK has fallen from 48 per cent last summer to 17 per cent this month is being seen as welcome progress and proof that the Movement&#039s responsible retailing and proof of age campaigns are bearing fruit.
According to the Home Office, Waitrose currently has the worst record for selling alcohol to people who are under-age.
Waitrose sold alcohol in 22 per cent of cases where trading standards officers used under-18s in secret test purchases. The other chains similarly tested were Somerfield (20 per cent), Co-op (17 per cent), Tesco and Sainsbury (both 16 per cent) and Morrisons (15 per cent).
A Co-op spokeswoman told the News: "We are committed to working with the Home Office to eliminate this industry-wide problem.
"Additional staff training and improved store communications have resulted in a big drop in the number of incidents and this work is continuing."
At a meeting with Home Secretary Charles Clarke last November, where both the Co-operative Group and United Co-operatives were represented, the retail sector pledged to eliminate under-age alcohol sales by the end of this year and, in view of the latest figures, this target is on course to be achieved.

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