No rebound in liquor sales despite wedding season

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
No rebound in liquor sales despite wedding season

Jun 17, 2013-

Liquor traders said that their business had hit rock bottom as a result of the anti-drink-and-drive campaign launched by the traffic police They complained that sales had not rebounded despite the wedding season being in full swing. Major liquor stores in the Kathmandu valley reported that sales had plunged by almost 40 percent since the launch of the campaign.

While sales of beer have been steady due to it being the summer season, sales of products like whiskey, vodka and rum have been hit the hardest.

“The slump in liquor sales has continued since the police clamped down on drunk driving,” said Bal Krishna Thapaliya, manager of Green Line Centre which sells international liquor brands.

“Normally, we used to see sales of around Rs 30 million monthly. Presently, business barely amounts to Rs 10 million per month.” He added that sales of A class alcohol, or premium products from renowned international brands, had been greatly affected by the campaign.

Meanwhile, liquor traders said that even though sales to luxury hotels were satisfactory, purchases by restaurants, their best customers, had fallen sharply. The impact of the police campaign on local brands, however, has been less, said Thapaliya.

According to Arjun Bhandari, importer of Mark Davidson wines in Nepal, sales of alcohol products have been depressing in recent days. “Mark Davidson had a market of around Rs 1 million monthly, which has now fallen significantly.” He said that there should be a scientific method of controlling liquor consumption instead of the “haphazard” method being used currently.

Meanwhile, liquor traders said that the traffic police had done a good job and that accidents had been reduced greatly due to their efforts. However, they disapproved of the unscientific process. “Such tests for drunk driving are conducted in the developed countries too. However, they have specific laws and procedures for penalizing offenders,” said Thapaliya. He added that they were hopeful of sales going up after September when the peak tourist season starts.

Thapaliya said that a scientific system of controlling drunk driving would also benefit the government as its tax collection from alcohol sales had gone down drastically in recent days.

Published: 18-06-2013 09:30

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