VOX SHOP

23 February, 2007

Have you seen an increase in the number of shops such as florists and garden centres selling alcohol?

"I can see the trend is going that way - selling multiple things makes sense financially. Councils have more power to hand out licences and they're not concerned about the effect it has on current businesses. Itámeans more yearly fees are paid to the council and they make more money, but it makes more competition for retailers."

Huw Williams

Class of Wine, Pontyberem, Llanelli

"I've noticed more and more petrol stations are selling alcohol, but it's still off-licences that most commonly sell wines, beer and spirits. We've got a florist not far from us but I don't think it would be a threat to business if it started selling drink."

Imran Khalid

Jimmy's Off-licence, Bradford

"Not around here, thank goodness. The supermarkets are my main rivals, they're the ones I have to contend with. There's a Tesco Express just opened down the road and it's become quite a problem, especially because it has parking, which is something my shop doesn't have."

John Lamb

Southern Wine, Christchurch, Dorset

"No unusual places sell alcohol near the shop which is great for us, but it's interesting that they are springing up in certain places. Spar and the Co-op are still the ones I have to compete with."

Alison Ralph

Ripley Wine Company, Ripley, Derby

"Around here there aren't manyágarden centres or florists nearby so they're not a threat. Tesco is our biggest rival by

far."

Janette Devlin

Wineflair, Newtownabbey, County Antrim




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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