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How Might the Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Impact upon Local Off-Sales Shops and the Communities Which They Serve?

17 Dec 2013

Aims: The aim of the study was to assess the likely impact of the Scottish Government's proposed alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) policy on community off-sales outlets (convenience stores or corner shops), and, in turn, on the local people who purchase drinks at such premises. This research adds to our knowledge by linking sales of alcohol products which will be affected by MUP (e.g. at the proposed 50 ppu) to the types of communities where these are the ‘drinks-of-choice’. Methods: A survey of independent community off-sales operating within the city of Glasgow, Scotland (n = 271) returned 144 completed questionnaires enquiring about each shop's customer base, best-selling alcohol products and participating shopkeepers' views on MUP. Responses were measured against current alcohol product prices (i.e. whether potentially affected by MUP) and local levels of socio-economic deprivation. Results: Participating shopkeepers were divided in their support for MUP, although more were in favour than against. Support for MUP tended to be rooted in business concerns. A majority reported having at least one best-selling alcohol product which will be affected by the proposed MUP policy at current prices, with the beverages that would be most affected (e.g. white cider) tending to be best-sellers at shops serving deprived communities. Conclusion: MUP is likely to impact most in socio-economically deprived communities. This is also where alcohol-related health and other inequalities are currently greatest.

Date: 
17 December 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Alcohol and Alcoholism