Chains confused by new beer regulations

Foto: (Foto: Gorm Kallestad / SCANPIX)

The price war on beer was deemed illegal Friday, but several chains still sell beer at discount prices Monday.

Both the grocery chains Rema 1000 and Kiwi still sell their cheapest beer brands for NOK 6.50 (USD 0.94) per bottle Monday morning.

The Directorate of Health and Social Affairs stated Friday that the price war on bottled beer was breaching the alcohol law as it claims beer is being sold as a discount good. The directorate ordered that the prices had to be increased immediately.

However, some of the chains have not followed the order.

«No, we have not decided whether or not to increase the prices,» said Geir Solstad, executive at Rema 1000, to TV 2 Nettavisen. «We have not yet received any answers on the questions we had after the directorate’s answer Friday.»

Also the Coop chain and Kiwi have decided to wait for an answer from the directorate before taking any actions.

«We want the rules to be the same for entire Norway, and there are a couple of points we want to have explained by the directorate,» said Per-Erik Burud, Kiwi executive, to TV 2 Nettavisen. «We have difficulties with interpreting the guidelines we have received so far, so we are waiting for some answers.»

The Federation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (HSH), which represents the grocery chains, will meet with the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs regarding the guidelines on prices Monday afternoon.

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