John Wood
The Association of Convenience Stores has achieved a breakthrough in its campaign to publicise its "no proof no sale" message on underage sales.
Last week MP Jim Dowd tabled an Early Day Motion in the Commons noting the intimidation and violence faced by shopworkers trying to prevent underage sales and calling on the government to actively encourage "a responsible culture where consumers expect to be age-checked".
Dowd, who has worked in the supermarket and forecourt sector, "and served customers at the sharp end", said the UK needed to become more like the US where young people expected to be asked for proof of age. He conceded that EDMs do not lead to legislation, but added: "They are treated as the good ideas department. The government does take notice."
The motion has become the focus of a campaign by the ACS to raise awareness among MPs about the problems retailers face in relation to age restricted products.
At the Convenience Retailing Show this week, the ACS had a computer enabling retailers to identify their local MP and print personalised letters urging them to back the motion.
ACS chief executive David Rae said: "We have been delighted with the progress of our campaign in parliament. The motion will solidify the support we have received from all parties and all parts of the UK."

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