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Calais closes door to the booze cruise

British retailers Tesco and Sainsbury's are to close their wine outlets in northern France, signalling the end of the booze cruise to stock up on cheap wine & beer.

The weak pound and UK supermarkets offering cheap alcohol together with the recession has put a stop to consumers visiting Calais to stock up and business at the outlets is reported to have dried up. Tesco Vin Plus has consulted with staff over the closure and Sainsbury's is to shut down its Calais Wine Store at the end of the month describing its partnership with French retailer Auchan as no longer viable.

A third large outlet, Oddbins Calais, closed earlier this year and the company has confirmed its franchise agreement had come to an end. But Majestic say they will stay in France claiming the difference in duty is still enough to attract savvy shoppers but blaming the relative strength of the euro for a 28 per cent fall in sales for the year ending March 2010 in its three northern France stores.