Retail Drinks Australia announces temporary limits on alcohol purchases

Retail Drinks Australia has announced a voluntary national initiative to place temporary limits on the number of liquor products shoppers can purchase in one transaction.

Retail Drinks CEO Julie Ryan said the move is to address the Government’s concerns on how some customers could change their purchasing behaviours and cause supply interruptions in alcohol.

“We know that consumers like to feel certainty of supply during times of crisis, and our members want to do their part to encourage people continuing to purchase alcohol responsibly as they normally would. Our suppliers in breweries, wineries, distilleries and the wholesale and distribution of drinks continue to be fully operational and this means there are no issues of supply,” said Ryan.

“However, it was clear that uncertainty on the impact of supply following the closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants last week caused some people to purchase differently. We want to now send a clear message bottle shops remain an essential service and there are no issues of supply. These temporary measures will ensure that all consumers can continue to access their favourite drinks when they decide to make a purchase.”

In explaining the temporary limits, Ryan noted that explanatory signage would be available within stores and could also be found on the participating retailers’ websites.

“From the opening of trading today signage will be displayed both in stores and online, which explains the purchasing limits. These temporary restrictions are intended to operate per transaction, and are clear and easy for both our retail workers, and consumers, to understand. Put simply, each category of drinks, whether it be beer, wine, cider, RTDs or spirits, will have a limit for that category. Consumers can purchase up to the total limit in any two product categories.”

With these limits in place, shoppers can purchase only two cases of beer, cider, pre-mix spirits/ready to drink; 12 bottles of wine; 2 casks of wine; no more than 10L in total bottled spirits two bottles; and no more than 2L in total.

The latest alcohol initiative does not apply in Western Australia, where government has imposed state-wide limits.

Ryan also urged consumers to keep the health and safety of retail workers in mind when these changes are implemented.

“Please remember that our liquor retail staff are working hard to serve you and they deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy while they assist you to understand these changes,” said Ryan.

Earlier this month, alcohol retailers Dan Murphy’s and BWS placed purchase limits on some products to manage demand, but assured consumers that there is sufficient stock of alcohol in their stores.

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