Adult appeal

09 August, 2007

I work at an off-licence owned by the Thresher Group. In between challenging twentysomethings for ID and trying to get rid of the congregation of teens from outside my shop I get a thought that nibbles at my conscience. The company promotes "conditioning"- ie attracting children to the off-licence to familiarise them with layout and products.

When grown up these children will be more likely, it is hoped, to buy alcoholic beverages from them.

Most Milky Ways, fruit pastilles and small bags of sweets are not bought by adults for their children but by children coming into the shop late at night. Perhaps I'm being slightly prudish but an off-licence should only appeal to adults, not to "latch-key" kids .

Local manager

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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