Home Office figures just released show that, during the government's summer campaign monitoring sales of booze to under-18s, retailers failed to improve on Christmas test purchasing figures. According to the statistics, targeted shops had failed 21% of test purchasing visits in the latest campaign.
Shaun Woodward, licensing minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: "Too many supermarkets, bars, clubs and pubs continue to sell alcohol to under-18s. This is not acceptable."
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "We are disappointed that there has been little change in the results. We must aim for a further reduction in failures."
However, Lowman also defended retailers, saying the data showed improvement since summer 2004, when the off-trade failed 31% of visits. He said: "What is pleasing is that the marked improvement is reflected across all parts of the off-licence sector."
In the supermarket sector, Kwik Save and Somerfield failed test purchasing visits most often, with failure rates of 26% and 22% respectively.