Supermarket caught selling liquor to minor



A Hawke's Bay supermarket is facing penalties after selling alcohol to a minor at the weekend.

Countdown Hastings said it would be re-training staff after an underage customer successfully purchased alcohol there on Friday night.

The penalty for selling alcohol to someone under 18 carries hefty fines of up to $10,000 for licence holders, and the suspension of a licence up to seven days, or both. A manager can be fined up to $10,000 and staff up to $2000.

It is believed the purchase was part of an organised "sting" using underage volunteers to test liquor retailers, but police were unable to comment yesterday.

Progressive communications manager Luke Schepen said the company took the incident "very seriously" and the purchase should not have happened with such "robust" procedures in place at the store. "With our policies and procedures it is very unfortunate that it had to happen.

"These things are not an occurrence that we see often and it is rare, should they ever happen."

He said staff would be re-trained and the issue would be "worked through".

"We go above and beyond because we do take the issue very seriously - I believe we are a responsible retailer," he said.

It was not yet known if other premises were visited.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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