The Scottish government's plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol could be a double-edged sword for small stores.

The SNP believes that charging 45p per unit of alcohol would reduce excessive consumption by outlawing many of the jaw-dropping deals offered in supermarkets.

However, while many small stores believe that the plans could go some way towards levelling the playing field, others have warned of serious unintended consequences.

The change was likely to prompt a significant shift in buying habits, said Linda Williams of Broadway Convenience Store in Edinburgh.

"The cost of cheap high-strength ciders will rise, forcing serious drinkers to start buying into other categories such as wine instead," she said.

Other retailers fear the move could prompt the supermarkets to start targeting other product areas such as confectionery.

And while the Scottish Grocers' Federation welcomed to the move, it also warned that it could spark a rise in cross-border shopping and illicit sales.