Responsible Retailing Initiative, a program designed to determine the level of ID-checking to reinforce the importance of preventing underage sales, was recently held in Hillsborough County, Florida, and participants are now being notified of the extremely positive results.
The program was sponsored by Breakthru Beverage Florida in partnership with Brown-Forman Corporation and the following organizations: Responsible Retailing Forum (RRForum), a national research-based, non-profit organization; and the Florida Independent Liquor Co-op.
How Does RRI Work?
The initiative sent professional mystery shoppers to 111 licensees in Hillsborough County who agreed to participate in the mystery shopping program on ID checking. Staffers who requested identification when a customer sought to purchase an alcoholic beverage were recognized on the spot for superior compliance and commitment to limiting sales to minors. Employers of those who did not demonstrate proper diligence were notified discreetly by mail.
The first round of ID-checking took place this past March. The ID-checking pass rate was 87 percent at 38 mystery shops with 33 licensees.
There was an 88 percent pass rate in April’s second round, which targeted a random selection of 30 licensees. During this round, the mystery shopper was asked to check if clerks used scanners when available and if there was no scanner, whether the clerks inspected the ID.
Of the store clerks who successfully checked IDs, 100 percent used an ID scanner when available. For shops that did not have access to a scanner, 100 percent of the clerks who asked for an ID performed a thorough inspection of the document before returning it to its owner.
This information was included on the mystery shop results letter with the intention to assist the licensees with their procedures and staff training.
Bob Catalani, Breakthru Beverage Group’s South Region President said, “We are deeply aware of the risks retailers face when underage consumers can purchase alcohol, and because of the high risk associated, we are always looking for opportunities to provide information that can support the safety of our community’s patrons and businesses.”
Rob Frederick, Director and VP of Corporate Responsibility for Brown-Forman Corporation said, “Brown-Forman is grateful for the partnership we have with Breakthru Beverage Florida and the RRForum. This Hillsborough Country program is another example of our commitment to reduce alcohol related harm through the prevention of underage access and consumption.”
“The RRForum is committed to working with stakeholders like Breakthru and Brown-Forman to develop and refine policies that promote responsible retailing,” added Dr. Brad Krevor, President of the Responsible Retailing Forum. “We are encouraged by the outcomes in Hillsborough County, and are pleased to share the results with retailers throughout the region as we work to prevent underage alcohol sales.”
The RRI was a voluntary program for Hillsborough County businesses. The licensees that received mystery shopper visits were selected at random from a list of businesses that agreed to participate. This initiative is in line with Breakthru Beverage Group and Brown-Forman Corporation’s commitment to promoting and enhancing retailing practices that champion the importance of responsible drinking.