Devon retailers Lesley and Bill Brown put a new member of staff through his paces when North Devon MP Nick Harvey joined them for a night's trading.
Harvey spent last Friday evening serving customers after being invited to join the couple at Frankmarsh Stores in Barnstaple. Lesley said the visit allowed the MP to experience a typical night's trade and gave her the chance to show the efforts being made by the sector to crack down on attempts to purchase alcohol underage.
Harvey was also joined by North Devon's licensing committee chairman Roy Lucas.
Speaking after the visit, Harvey told Convenience Store: "It gave me quite an insight into the challenges faced by small retailers. I certainly saw the difficulties they face when judging whether people are underage. I appreciated from speaking to Lesley that some people can get abusive if asked to show ID."
Harvey said he would encourage his colleagues at Westminster to carry out the exercise and added: "Retailers like Lesley are an important part of the community and my message to the government is that there is funding in place to help support local stores."
Lesley was pleased she initiated the evening and added: "He was able to see that it's wrong to cast retailers as demons all the time. I was able to tell him that I believed the government needed a more rounded approach to tackling problems with alcohol."