Our Christmas preparations have been under way since May. The decorations are now up and the shop is brimming with products for every eventuality! The final piece in our Christmas jigsaw is to refresh the team on the importance of festive responsible retailing.

Christmas is typically the time of year most people do things to excess. Alcohol sales go through the roof, but we face challenges we don’t normally face at other times of the year.

The guy who comes in each morning for his paper and breakfast who may mumble ‘good morning’ is now a staggering wreck who grasps two cases of Stella and can barely stand up! We don’t want to upset him as we are part of his daily routine throughout the year, but we need to point out that for his own safety he’s had enough. The responsibility is his as much as it’s ours, but we are held accountable as we hold the licence.

Young people are more likely to attempt to try their luck so we find ourselves constantly assessing the situation on all sales. Challenge 25 gives our staff confidence and saves them being embarrassed about asking for ID which prevents them making presumptions on age, safeguarding our licence and reputation.

We find consistency with clear policy statements posted around the shop. A strict one rule for all and a firm but friendly approach deals with most situations.

We occasionally encounter the social hand grenade who drinks once a year and thinks he is Anthony Joshua, but in the main most people want to have a good time and be remembered only for being the life and soul of the party season.