16 May 2013

Supermarket forebodings about city's draft alcohol policy

1:34 pm on 16 May 2013

Supermarket chains have told Christchurch City Council that a draft alcohol policy will have a serious impact on the economy there.

The full council meeting is hearing public deputations on plans to change the opening hours of on and off license premises.

Foodstuffs retail general manager Alan Malcolmson said restricting the hours that businesses can sell alcohol will have a direct impact on the shopping habits of customers.

He said that if shoppers can't buy everything they need at once, including alcohol, they will stop shopping and that will have a direct impact on the number of hours employees can work.

Philippa Clifford who represented Progressive Enterprises, said that the company employs 2500 people across Canterbury and has invested $93 million in the Christchurch economy in the past five years.

She said the proposals would seriously affect supermarkets' operations.

But police support restricting the hours that alcohol can be sold. Superintendent Gary Knowels said a policy, where bars cannot let in new patrons after 1am, is proven to reduce crime by 22%.

He said the police maintain that long hours and increased access to alcohol do not create a vibrant city