Shop servers experience of alcohol-related issues and interventions in socially contrasting neighbourhoods

Neil Davidson, Alasdair J.M. Forsyth, Anne Ellaway

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    Alcohol problems are concentrated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In recent times there has been a shift in alcohol consumer patterns across the UK away from the on-trade (pubs) towards the off-trade sector (licensed shops). Off-trade purchase is cheaper (incurring more health problems, especially amongst
    disadvantaged groups), and its consumption is largely unsupervised (risking more serious disorder).
    This project, which built upon an AERC-funded pilot study (Forsyth et al, 2007), addressed these issues via an overlooked group of experts/stakeholders, namely off-sales servers (shopkeepers) working in local licensed stores in socially contrasting neighbourhoods (deprived and non-deprived areas). Participants in this research were those who served at the counter of community shops. That is small businesses, as opposed to the major chain stores or other supermarkets (with checkouts).
    A mixed methods design was devised to assess shop servers’ experience of alcohol-related problems and policy interventions in their communities. Firstly, 36 in-depth face-to-face qualitative interviews were conducted with servers in shops (24 licensed to sell alcohol), evenly divided between those working in premises located in the most and least deprived localities of the city of Glasgow, Scotland (a city known to experience elevated levels of alcohol problems). Secondly, a quantitative survey was conducted, in which every community off-sales outlet in the city received a short questionnaire (response rate n=143,
    52.8%). This was supplemented by a smaller survey of similar but unlicensed shops (n=47) which acted as a control sample.
    The interviews and survey both enquired about: each server’s / shop’s role in their community, the problems they experienced, alcoholic beverage sales, business trends, their views on current licensing laws and
    wider alcohol policy interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherAlcohol Change UK
    Commissioning bodyAlcohol Research UK
    Number of pages92
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2012


    • shop servers
    • alcohol sales
    • alcohol
    • neighbourhoods


    Dive into the research topics of 'Shop servers experience of alcohol-related issues and interventions in socially contrasting neighbourhoods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this