IPRA is very concerned over the proposal for structural separation in retail forecourts per section 22 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015. We believe this is is anti competitive and will drive business to the Off Licences and the Large Multiples and will put small retailers offering alcohol out of business.
The proposed separation of the alcohol offering by a 7ft wall is not viable and will severely reduce available floor space in many retail garages where retail space is at a premium.
IPRA members are not against segregating the alcohol offering, but the structural separation is a step too far and is clearly anti-competitive and puts small, independent retailers at clear disadvantage to the larger retailers and off licences/supermarkets.
When the Law was introduced requiring retailers to place cigarettes out of sight, every business big or small had to comply – the requirement did not give an advantage to one retailer at the expense of another.
We would respectfully suggest a preferred option and possible solution is to have a clearly delineated alcohol area which can be accessed by a barrier/turnstile to make a clear obstacle for patrons – this is the solution that works in Northern Ireland (see photo above).
We have written today to all Members of the Health Committee and Dail Members.