The Responsible Retailer campaign (RRC) began in 2014 by KYCC’s Environmental Prevention Services (EPS) team, which is part of KYCC’s larger Prevention Education services. The Environmental Prevention Services (EPS) strives to create systematic change by working at an environmental level to address substance use availability and accessibility. Through policy advocacy and partnering with local politicians, community groups, and law enforcement agencies and through the support of the LA County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, the Responsible Retailer campaign (RRC) seeks to reduce underage drinking.

The RRC partners with local liquor store owners to raise awareness about the risks of sales to underage persons. According to a research study that collected data from 50 different California cities, there was a positive relationship between the alcohol outlet density and alcohol use among youth¹. Areas with higher density of alcohol outlets had higher rates of youth initiation and levels of excessive drinking. The RRC team strives to mitigate alcohol related harms by informing store owners with the current alcohol policies, providing age signs reminding customers of the legal age to purchase alcohol, and other resources.

The Responsible Retailer Campaign team works with over 100 liquor stores in the Koreatown, Westlake, and Pico-Union area. Liquor store owners who are exceptional in reducing underage drinking are highlighted for their efforts and their commitment to improving public health and safety. This year, the Prevention Education (PE) staff recognized A&S Liquor Store (3088 Pico Blvd) for their efforts to reduce underage drinking. A&S participated in multiple Project Sticker Shock campaigns which placed warning labels on alcoholic beverages to deter underage drinking. The stickers read, “Did you know? Purchasing or providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21 is a serious crime.”

Jatinder Sandhu first opened A&S Liquor in 2003. As a storeowner who previously received a citation 4 years ago, he tries his best to prevent future mistakes by actively participating in the RRC. When asked about the issue of underage youth purchasing alcohol, he says it negatively impacts both the retailer and the youth in the community. After a recent Project Sticker Shock Campaigns, a vendor took notice of the stickers and asked why he allows that in his store, he replied “It’s beneficial for the community. Why wouldn’t I participate?” Mr. Sandhu says that he is thankful to KYCC and the Responsible Retailer Campaign for the constant support and resources that sends an educational message that helps prevent access to youth.

¹Chen, M. J., Grube, J. W., & Gruenewald, P. J. (2010). Community alcohol outlet density and underage drinking. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 105(2), 270–278.