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Supermarkets prevent underage sales better than pubs

Published:  23 July, 2008

Retailers are taking the issue of tackling under-age selling more seriously than the on trade, claims a new report.

Mystery visitor figures from Serve Legal - a company that helps retailers test their effectiveness at preventing under-age sales - show that supermarkets are being more successful than pubs in tackling the problem.

Serve Legal performed 2,526 off-trade visits between July and December 2007 on behalf of major retailers including Tesco, Waitrose and Budgens.

Overall results revealed a pass rate of 60%, up from 57% in the three months for April to June 2007.

This compares with a pub pass rate of 40% for the period March to December 2007, when Serve Legal performed around 2,000 site visits for leading pubcos.

"Results show that the off trade is being more pro-active and successful in improving operating systems and eradicating sales to minors," said Ed Heaver, a director of Serve Legal.

The reports findings come amid increasing pressure from government and the mainstream media for retailers to clamp down on sales to minors.