Blurring: the hard classic separation between catering and retail is increasingly blurring

A drink at the hairdresser, a beer tasting in the liquor store and bubbles in a clothing store; we find it the most normal thing in the world these days. This industry blurring has gained quite a foothold. In this article you can read more about this concept, why entrepreneurs and customers want this and whether it is actually allowed.

You see blurring, blending or mixing of functions appearing in more and more forms. Berlin, London and New York are bursting with bookshops where you can also enjoy high tea, gyms with a lunch menu and restaurants where you can also buy furniture. And think of the shopping street in your own city: have you ever been offered an alcoholic snack while waiting or trying on? Blurring is an important tool for entrepreneurs to entice their guests to stay in the store as long as possible. Because the longer a customer stays; the more likely he is to buy something.

He started, no he

It is not the case that 'the entrepreneur' started with this phenomenon. It is the customer who desires to have the choice. It is the customer who expects the experience. And because the online competition is fierce, shops and other companies are pushing the boundaries with regard to the Liquor and Catering Act. At the moment, the Drinks and Catering Act still stands in the way of serving lunch with a glass of wine in your nail studio, but since the summer of 2018 there has been a private member's bill to amend the Drinks and Catering Act on this point.

Divided enthusiasm

In the meantime, a number of pilots have been run and the enthusiasm is divided. The Association of Dutch Municipalities sees it as an enrichment for the entrepreneur and an extra service for the customer, but the Koninklijke Horeca Nederland is less enthusiastic. The trade association sees a threat to public health and public order due to the proliferation of alcoholic beverages (source: www.decafekrant.nl)† But everyone agrees that the Liquor and Catering Act needs an adjustment.

And what does the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport say about this?

For reasons of public health, the municipality should not allow blurring.

Although in violation of the Licensing and Catering Act, the Association of Dutch Municipalities and some fifty municipalities experimented in 2016 with mixed forms of catering, retail and services (blurring). Think of serving wine at the hairdresser's or selling special beers in a bookstore. A bill has now been submitted to adjust the DHW and to make blurring possible. Many health organizations and municipalities are against blurring because it leads to an increase in the number of points of sale of alcohol and therefore to the normalization of and increase in alcohol consumption.

 

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