Countdown Blenheim is having its alcohol licence suspended for 42 days starting on April 26, for selling to minors twice last year. In both occasions, beer and wine were sold to 17-year-olds.
According to Countdown lawyer, Jo McNaught, the store failed controlled purchase operations due to a human error and had then taken steps to improve its policies, with three employees being fired. McNaught also added that, given the high volume of alcohol sales, supervisors should have better physical assistance. Blenheim supermarket failed five times since 2006, and its earlier failures were an aggravating factor.
Another Countdown store, due to open soon in Wellington’s Cable Car Lane, has had its alcohol licence opposed by police, on the grounds that it would encourage nearby students to drink, in particular men under 25. On its part, Countdown has acknowledged the issue and is now seeking opening hours of 7am to 8pm, instead of 7am-11pm.