By Andrew Starke
The big two retailers have agreed to a floor price for alcohol and the phasing out of two-litre casks in Alice Springs following pressure from government and community bodies.
In a letter to the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, managing director of Coles, Ian McLeod, committed the supermarket chain to a series of measures designed to limit the availability of cheap alcohol.
The Coles measures include:
- A minimum price for 750ml bottled wine (including cleanskin wine) of $7.99 – equivalent to $1.14 per standard drink
- Withdrawal of all two litre cask wine products (currently priced between $10.99 and $16.49)
- Cessation of national promotions in Alice Springs, including 20-30% off if customers buy six bottles or more
While Woolworths did not immediately respond to questions from TheShout on whether it would match the Coles undertaking, it is understood that it will also phase out the sale of two-litre casks in Alice Springs.
Independent traders in the area have also indicated they intend implementing similar policies. Coles will introduce the changes across its liquor outlets from July 1.
Recently Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, asked her Preventive Health Agency to investigate a floor price for alcohol as part of a nationwide move to combat alcohol abuse.
"We believe that these measures will help ensure that the vast majority of responsible customers will still be able to access alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle at affordable prices, as well as meet community expectations for action to protect the vulnerable members of the community in Alice Springs," said McLeod in his letter to Henderson.