Published on November 19th, 2010 | by Dean Carr
Morrisons says alcohol move is only so its supermarkets can open earlier
Supermarket giant Morrisons has been given the go ahead to extend sales of alcohol at one of its supermarkets.
Drinks sales will now be allowed at its Five Lane Ends store from 6am to 11pm so it will be in line with rivals Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury.
Bradford Licensing Panel yesterday heard it was part of a rolling programme for all the 360-plus Morrisons stores nationwide to do the same.
The extended hours application was granted at the City Hall meeting, making the Idle store one of the first Morrisons outlets to have the choice of opening its tills from 6am.
The application had initially sparked fears among ward councillors about encouraging under-age drinking, but a spokesman for the store said residents could be reassured because the licensing victory did not mean they would necessarily selling alcohol so early in the morning.
He said the extended hours application was only a means to being able to open the Five Lane Ends store earlier than the current 8am for food and other supplies shopping – but he stressed there were still no plans by the Bradford-based supermarket chain to open any of its stores 24 hours a day.
The spokesman said: “If we want to open our stores at 6am then we had no choice but to apply for the extended hours because the alcohol section is a part of the store at large. It doesn’t mean we will definitely be selling alcohol from 6am.
“What we want to do is open our shops earlier because that’s what our customers are telling us they want us to do – especially people who work nightshifts.
‘‘We are only making changes to suit shopping habits.’’ Last month Councillor Carol Beardmore (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) complained that the extension would undermine efforts being made by the local community and police to tackle under-age drinking.
She warned cheap drink readily available at all hours in a supermarket would “… only add to this timebomb”.
However, only one trader who runs an off-licence near the Five Lane Ends store attended yesterday’s meeting – and he raised no objections.
Source : Bradford Telegraph & Argus