Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Minimum price plan means the consumer will get a higher quality product'

Jimmy Redmond, owner of Redmond's Off-Licence in south Dublin, says the new minimum pricing plans could lead consumers to drink more craft and higher-quality beer and wine products.

The Ranelagh-based off-licence, last week voted the country's best, has been in Jimmy's family for more than 70 years and he now runs it with his brother Aidan.

Jimmy says the proposed measures will "bring an end to the days of 20 bottles for €24" and will remove drink being sold as a loss leader to entice people into stores to spend money on other goods.

He says the Government could have opted for an outright ban on below-cost selling but says the proposed plan could help his business, and others like it, as shoppers can now get higher-quality produce for the same price as traditionally cheaper booze.

"What it ultimately means is that the entry level which would be €8 or €9 for a bottle of wine is still a very important entry level into the world of wine," he said.

"We look at regulation of this trade not as a barrier in shape, size or form because this is our livelihood. This is what we do and regulation to us is a friend, not an enemy. In this case, it is price control of sorts."

He said consumers would initially be frustrated by another increase in alcohol costs but could ultimately benefit in the long run.

"Yes in the short term there's a short, sharp shock but the consumer will be the winner in relation to the style of products he or she will end up drinking. It will be a better product," he added.

Irish Independent

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