Company: Metro Discount Stores (Midlands) Limited
Final Decision: 30 September 1997
Considered under the 1st Edition of the Code
‘Up until 11th July Metro Discount Stores (Midlands) Limited) was selling alcohol and Bass Hooper‘s Hooch in the same chiller cabinets as soft fruit–flavoured drinks. The stores in
question are at Woods Lane, Burton–on–Trent and Main Street, Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire. It has removed the Hooch but not the alcohol which is still on sale with soft drinks“.
Derby Daily Telegraph Limited
Under Code paragraph 4(3)
Retailers should ensure that alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are not mixed together in merchandising dispensers. Where space is constrained, for example in chillers, stores should make every reasonable effort to avoid confusion that could arise from close proximity of alcoholic drinks and soft drinks.
Metro Discount Stores (Midlands) Limited, by letter dated 16th July 1997, wrote confirming that it had been storing alcoholic drinks in the same chilled cabinets as soft drinks and stating that it had decided to remove all alcoholic drinks from the chilled cabinets with immediate effect since receiving a letter from The Portman Group and after a subsequent telephone conversation. This removal was completed on 11th July 1997. The Company also stated that it would apply to be a signatory to the Code, which is has since done.
Hooper‘s Hooch, an alcoholic drink, was sold by the Company in three stores alongside, i.e. along the same shelf in chiller cabinets as soft drinks such as Vimto. This contravened Paragraph 4.3 of the Code which provides that retailers should ensure that alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are not mixed together in merchandising dispensers, and that, where space is constrained, for example, in chillers, stores should make every reasonable effort to avoid confusion that could arise from close proximity of alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. The Panel upheld the complaint under this paragraph on the basis that, by having an alcoholic drink on the same shelf as soft drinks, every such effort had not been made to avoid confusion as required by paragraph 4.3.
Action by company
The Panel was pleased to note the Company‘s speedy action in (a) removing all alcoholic drinks from the chillers and (b) declaring its firm support for the Code.