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Tops Markets, LLC is implementing a new policy requiring any shopper buying alcohol and tobacco products to display valid proof that they are of legal age, regardless of how old they are. The "We Proof Everyone" policy, which aims to prevent alcohol and tobacco use by underage consumers, takes effect Sunday, Nov. 2 at all of the regional grocer's stores.
The introduction comes in the wake of a successful pilot of the policy at two stores in Ithaca, N.Y. earlier this year. We Proof Everyone succeeds a policy directing Tops cashiers to check the IDs of customers attempting to purchase alcohol and tobacco products who looked to be 30 years old or younger.
"The result of the pilot program at the Ithaca stores established that 'We Proof Everyone' should be a policy for all of our stores, since it removes the need for our cashiers, many of whom are young, to judge the age of the purchaser," noted Tops s.v.p. of operations John Persons. "Requesting proof of age from all customers purchasing alcohol or tobacco is the most responsible way for us to handle these transactions, and it is in the best interests of Tops and our customers and the communities we serve."
Persons acknowledged that the new policy would be an "adjustment" for some shoppers, but trusted that they would understand the importance of such an initiative.
The grocer has placed signs in its stores telling customers of the impending policy change.
Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops operates 71 full-service supermarkets and five franchise supermarkets, and employs over 10,000 associates.