Asda has denied reports it is looking to build depots just south of the Scottish border in an attempt to circumnavigate proposals by the Scottish Government to curb binge-drinking.
The proposals include the introduction of minimum pricing and a ban on promotions but a loophole means online orders placed in Scotland but delivered from depots over the border would still be legal.
"We are not saying that we will look to sell alcohol in this way but simply pointing out that proposals for minimum pricing and a ban on promotions will lead to a growth in alcohol sales through internet based retailers," said a spokesman. "It could also lead to an increase in home shopping from stores and depots which are based south of the border."
Tesco said it was too early to make a comment on definite plans but would be "weighing up our commitment to responsible retailing and the rights of our consumers to get good service and good value."
Scottish Government proposals revealed two weeks ago included plans to raise the purchasing age for alcohol to 21 in the off-trade while maintaining the 18-year-old limit in pubs.
However the Wine & Spirit Trade Association this week highlighted government figures that showed the current drinking age of 18 wasn't being enforced. "Why should we be raising the drinking age to 21 if the authorities won't take action against those breaking the current age limit?" said Jeremy Beadles, chief executive.
"Enforcement across the board against young people is basically non-existent and until they see consequences for their actions their behaviour will not change."
The figures found that only eight people under the age of 18 were proceeded against for attempting to buy alcohol in either a shop or licensed premises in 2006 and only six were found guilty. The figures are the lowest for five years according to the WSTA.