Off Sales

The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, Section 65 states that off sales means the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises only. 

Alcohol can be sold for off sales only between 10.00am to 10.00pm daily.

The premises licence operating plan will indicate whether premises are licensed for off sales.

Off Sales – Special Provisions

The Alcohol Etc. (Scotland) Act 2010, (the 2010 Act) places certain responsibilities and restrictions on the sale of alcohol from Off Sales premises.  These are as follows:

a)    Minimum price of packages containing more than one alcoholic product

The price of such packages must be equal to or greater than the sum of the prices at which each product is for sale.  This provision only applies where each alcoholic product in the package is available for sale on the premises.

Example 1: If a single bottle of wine is sold for £4.00, then a package containing two of those bottles could not be sold for less than £8.00.

Example 2: if a single can of 440ml lager is sold at £1.00, then a package containing, say, 24 x 440ml, the package could not be sold for less than £24.00

The above provisions only apply where single alcohol products (bottle or can, etc.) are sold on the premises.

b)    Variation of pricing of alcoholic drinks

This provision brings Off Sales premises into line with On Sales premises in that any variation in the price of an alcoholic drink must be maintained for 72 hours from the start of the price variation.

c)    Restriction on supply of alcoholic drinks free of charge or at reduced price

This provision brings Off Sales premises into line with On Sales premises in that “quantity discounts” and similar promotions are not permitted for Off Sales premises.  Examples of such promotions include:

  • Buy one – get one free
  • Three for the price of two
  • Five for the price of four, cheapest free
  • 3 bottles for £10.00 (where the cost of buying the individual products is more than £10.00)
  • Buy six – get 20% off

d)    Location of drinks promotions

Currently, alcohol that is displayed for consumption off the premises (off sales) can only be displayed in

  1. a single area of the premises agreed between the Licensing Board and the premises licence holder and
  2. a single area which is inaccessible to the public.  These areas are known as “alcohol display areas”.

The 2010 Act provides that any off sales drinks promotion may take place only in the alcohol display areas or in a tasting room.  Further, the 2010 Act also provides that a drinks promotion in connection with the premises cannot take place within an area extending 200 meters from the boundary of the premises as shown on the layout plan.

The display of branded non-alcoholic products (products that bear a name or image of an alcoholic product such as football tops, slippers, tea towels etc.) which are not for sale may constitute a drinks promotion and, if so, may only be displayed in alcohol display areas or in a tasting room.  It will be for Licensing Boards, or the courts, to determine whether they consider the display of branded non-alcoholic products is a drinks promotion.

Newspapers, magazines and other publications which are not for sale may constitute a drinks promotion where they relate only or primarily to alcohol.  In this instance, they must be in the alcohol display area.  It will be for Licensing Boards, or the courts, to determine whether they consider a newspaper, magazine or other publication primarily relates to alcohol.  Where newspapers, magazines and other publications not for sale do not relate only or primarily to alcohol, they may be displayed anywhere on the premises.  Where branded non-alcoholic products and newspapers, magazines and other publications are for sale then they do not constitute a drinks promotion and so may be displayed anywhere in the premises and in the vicinity of the premises, including in alcohol display areas and any tasting room. 

If you require further information about on sales please contact one of the licensing standards officers.