Manx unites on alcohol code

Off-licences in the Isle of Man have agreed to a voluntary ban on bulk, ­secondary displays of alcohol and in-store advertising.

Every off-trade retailer on the island has signed up to a code of practice on the display and sale of alcoholic products, plans for which were outlined late last year.

The major measure restricts the sale of alcohol to a single main area, other than satellite areas for meal deals and seasonal activity, approved in advance by the licensing court.

It also prescribes the positioning of signs and the provision of health leaflets.

Tesco, Spar, Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Shoprite have all signed up.

Peter Whittaker, chairman of trade association Offwatch, said: “Although it does not give a commercial benefit to retailers it does have significant benefits from the perspective of the welfare of the community.”?Douglas Tesco store manager Andrew Lees said: “We take our responsibilities towards the sale of alcohol very seriously. We are happy to work with the Isle of Man government to implement the code.”?Department of Home Affairs political member Bill Malarkey said the introduction of the measures meant that “people won’t accidentally come across alcoholic drinks for sale when they weren’t looking for them”.

He added: “New signs will mark out the alcoholic sales area in stores and it will mean an end to promotions of cheap bulk-buy products in areas away from the main alcohol sales area.”?The code requires shops to display a sign stating: “This is an alcohol sales area. Please drink safely and in moderation. It could save your life.”