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Home Medway News Article
Superdrug's Chatham branch is still selling cheap alcohol today despite head office assurances it had taken the items off sale.
Earlier, a spokeswoman for the health and beauty chain insisted that the five stores, including Chatham, allowed to stock booze, had been ordered to stop after Chatham MP Tracey Crouch had raised concerns.
But KentOnline can confirm the bottles were still being bought this afternoon. Our reporter was able to buy a bottle of wine for £4.19 from its Chatham High Street branch this afternoon.
The decision was attacked by the town's MP Tracey Crouch, who accused the business, which mainly sells beauty and health products, of fuelling the binge drinking culture.
This morning a Superdrug spokesman said it would cease selling booze in the stores.
"Superdrug is a responsible retailer and takes feedback from customers very seriously..." - company spokesman
He added: "Superdrug is a responsible retailer and takes feedback from customers very seriously.
Ms Crouch had branded its decision irresponsible and believed it was targeting younger customers with its promotions.
Shoppers could buy bottles of wine for just £2.49, while a brand of peach schnapps was on sale for just £4.49, which is at least £2 cheaper than in Tesco.
Ms Crouch, who is also chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse, said at the weekend: "I'm very disappointed because this isn't what their core selling is about. They're about health and beauty products.
"They are clearly marketing at young, female consumers and I don't think it's a responsible thing to do.
"I share the concerns about cheap booze in supermarkets and Superdrug is contributing to the issue of people pre-loading before they go out in an evening.
"They should remove alcohol from their stores. Other shops might follow Superdrug's lead, which will be damaging for our High Street and won't help us, as a nation, deal with young people binge drinking on cheap booze."
Prime Minister David Cameron has also previously pledged to crack down on promotional deals.
Superdrug managing director Joey Wat previously defended the alcohol sales, in a letter to the MP, saying it was the only way to stop some branches closing down.
About the Chatham branch, he wrote: "We sell alcoholic drinks in a very small number of our stores – only six out of 870.
"There is one reason for the sale of alcohol in these stores – to drive footfall and sales as the six are significant loss-making stores and at serious risk of closure.
"It is the last resort to save the jobs of our people."
None of the stores which sold alcohol has a pharmacy.
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