New Aussie booze restrictions to control stockpiling
Exclusive: Liquor retailers nationwide are uniting to crack down on the amount of alcohol purchased in-stores and online to counteract stockpiling.
New voluntary measures will be enforced at Coles Liquor's Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice and First Choice Liquor Market; Endeavour Drinks' Dan Murphys and BWS, and Aldi supermarkets from Tuesday.
It will also be adopted by independent brands Liquor Legends, Urban Cellars and Liquor Stax, and reviewed on a monthly basis.
The temporary measures would limit shoppers to buying only two products of the following categories per transaction: 12 bottles of wine; two cases of beer, cider or pre-mix spirits; two wine casks under 10 litres; and two bottled spirits with a total of 2 litres.
Retail Drinks Australia CEO Julie Ryan said the restrictions follow instore sales flattening out "significantly" after a dramatic spike in sales on March 22 due to the confusion on business closure regulations.
"Across the board, we have seen a 20 to 35 per cent increase in alcohol sales but we are starting to see that drop," she said.
"There are no supply issues and there is plenty of stock but we cannot predict the behaviour of consumers and a discussion by government is what prompted this."
The temporary measures also follow Woolworths Group's Dan Murphys and BWS rolling out restrictions on alcohol purchases last week, and WA enforcing stricter limits, with customers able to buy two from the following categories: 11.25 litres of beer, cider or pre-mix spirits; 2.25 litres of wine; one litre of spirits; and one litre of fortified wine.
"We are quite disappointed with the limits imposed in Western Australia - they are complicated to understand and might encourage customers to go to several stores, instead of visiting one, because the limits are lower than normal purchasing," Ms Ryan said.
"We feel the limits we have chosen are appropriate because it allows customers to buy what they what they normally would."
Drinkwise Australia CEO Simon Strachan encouraged Australians to moderate their drinking.
"There is no need to stockpile alcohol but if you do have more than usual in your home, the importance of moderating your alcohol consumption remains the same," he said.
Deakin University violence prevention and addiction studies professor Peter Miller told News Corp if people relied too much on alcohol during this time period, they may develop dependence issues.
"In many families there's already the fire of either alcoholism or family violence and now there's going to be a whole lot of other people experiencing that sort of conflict tension," he said.
"Alcohol on top is just pouring jet fuel on the fire, particularly where it's been stockpiled."
Prof Miller said respite locations should be provided in hotels and alcohol delivery should be stopped.
"We are going to see really, really massive psychological trauma in our society, let alone the physical stuff, and the primary way in which people are going to try to deal with that is through substance use and particularly alcohol," he said.
Tipple, an alcohol delivery service which operates in Sydney and Melbourne, has experienced an increase in orders.
"There's been a strong influx of new customers to our alcohol delivery app and an uptick in purchases from existing customers which tells us that people are doing the right thing and staying home while still trying to have a good time," a spokesman said.
Beer volume has increased significantly as well as red and white wine, but sparkling has "taken a tumble".
Rival alcohol delivery service Jimmy Brings said their revenue had doubled in the past month.
Coles, which has several bottle shop chains including Liqourland and First Choice, said demand was high.
Originally published as New Aussie booze restrictions to control stockpiling