Online liquor stores breaking ban on high discounts
Online stores that sell alcohol are regularly breaking the new Alcohol Act that took effect last year, according to STAP, the Netherlands Institute for Alcohol Policy. The law prohibits discounts of more than 25 percent on alcohol, but online stores find many ways around this, NOS reports.
“At many online stores, customers initially receive that 25 percent discount, but with extra discount codes, it can go up to 30 or 40 percent,” STAP director Wim van Dalen said to the broadcaster. This concerns things like personal discount codes or codes that can be copied from special websites.
By stacking discounts, customers quickly get more than the legally permitted discount, Van Dalen said. “And especially for smart young people, finding the right online stores with those extra discounts is a breeze. The crates of beer are even delivered to your home. How easy do you want it to be?”
STAP wants the authorities to take enforcement more seriously. “We all want to limit the alcohol problem. It has been proven that low prices are an important factor in a lot of drinking. It is important to tackle that problem, but then enforcement must be in order. I understand that there may be too few people at the supervisor, but priorities must be set differently.”
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) told NOS that “entrepreneurs are creative and look for boundaries.” Supervision and enforcement of online sales can be challenging, a spokesperson said. “But we are taking it seriously. If we find a violation, we take action against it with a fine.”