Lidl want more space for booze

But board are not con­vinced

Rutherglen Reformer - - NEWS - Will Hen­shaw

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.

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