Lidl want more space for booze
But board are not convinced
Licensing officers have said they were “disappointed” after Rutherglen’s Lidl store requested more floor space for selling alcohol.
At a meeting held in Rutherglen Town Hall last week, the Lidl store at 200 Cambuslang Road had put in an application to increase their booze capacity from 43.83m2 to 49.95m2.
It also includes a change to the layout plan to coincide with ‘theme’ weeks to merchandise international wines at the endcap closest to the existing alcohol section. Outwith these weeks it would be merchandising international wines.
It was decided the application would be approved if Lidl would consider relocating the endcap further away from the check-out. A final decision will now be made on September 24.
Councillor Denis McKenna expressed concerns that if this application was approved, that there could be more “recurring” applications to increase the size of their alcohol section in future. He also questioned why, when the store was opened only 10 months ago, had the original plans for been altered to accommodate this.
Tracy Broomfield, Lidl’s licensing manager, said that the proposal for an increase was being rolled out in all their stores across Scotland and that when the shop had opened in Rutherglen last year, this proposal had not been finalised.
Councillor Richard Tullet was concerned that the endcap could be used to advertise alcohol that may appeal to young people.
However Ms Broomfield responded: “We don’t sell alcopops, fortified wine, or superstrength lager. We take our responsibilty to young people and health very seriously.”
Councillor Walter Brogan praised the store for listening to concerns and removing “unhealthy” items such as cigarettes and sweets from the till area but felt a section that would contain alcohol going closer to the till, this would be a “reversal” of that policy.
Ms Broomfield said that the endcap would not be placed directly at the till.
Councillor Robert Brown asked if there were likely to be in similar applications to extend the section of alcohol in the future.
Ms Broomfield replied: “At this point in time I would say no, but I can’t say for sure. These decision start at our head office in Germany. I couldn’t sit here and say no.
“However if we decide to increase another section of the store, such as the fresh section, then that could take away from the alcohol section.”
On making closing comments, councillor Russell Clearie said: “The board members around Rutherglen and Cambuslang have raised relevant points this morning and are disappointed in the lack of cooperation from Lidl by looking to expand by sheer volume (of alcohol), that’s the way I see it.
“It would have been helpful if we had a booklet showing where your bottles would have been to show the volume and brand.”
Police Scotland had no objections to the application.