Early cover-up boosts independent retailers' tobacco sales

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Small stores are reporting increased tobacco sales after many supermarket outlets covered their gantries in advance of the display ban, a poll by Convenience Store has revealed.

More than a month before the display ban is formally introduced for large stores on April 6, 80% of small retailers contacted by C-Store said their tobacco sales were up month on month. Tobacco manufacturers have been rolling out display solutions to a number of supermarkets in the past month. Imperial Tobacco’s solution uses an angled track to make the doors self-closing.

The news supports predictions by Booker that the display ban could provide independents with the “greatest opportunity since the National Lottery”.

“Tobacco accounts for a significant chunk of our sales, and sales are growing month on month. I believe that the big Sainsbury’s near me has already gone dark ahead of the official ban, and this could be helping me. I really believe that we will profit once all the supermarkets go dark.”
Neil Norton
Spar, Kidderminster


“The news that some retailers are already experiencing tobacco sales uplifts is wonderful. My local supermarket hasn’t yet covered up its gantry, but I’m expecting fireworks when it does. The independent retail trade, manufacturers and government bodies will have to work much harder, though, in reporting and catching illicit traders as the display ban could also exacerbate this problem.”
Arif Ahmed
Ahmed’s News, Coventry

“Tobacco sales in both my stores have increased in the past month,” Anjali Karpal of Essential Convenience in Horsham, West Sussex, said. “The nearby Asda superstore in Crawley has already fitted doors across its gantry and it’s obviously having an impact. I visited it a few days ago and saw long queues at the tobacco kiosk. It was definitely taking the staff much longer to serve customers, plus the doors look ugly. It’s far easier for tobacco customers to come to small stores like mine where they get quick, friendly service, and are able to see that products are reasonably priced.”

In Wells, Somerset, Budgens manager Jason Tamplin is also enjoying rising tobacco sales. “Our tobacco sales are up on last month and this could be due in part to some of the supermarkets going dark ahead of the ban. I’m confident we’ll pull in even more sales come April 6.”

In Holsworthy, Devon, Premier retailer Dan Cock said the multiples should be worried. “There really is an enormous opportunity for us to profit from this increased footfall, however, we will have work to do. It’s important that we capture as much new customer data as possible so that we understand where they are coming from and what they want,” he said.

Readers' comments (2)

  • A word of caution is important in this debate. We may of course gain some marginal business , however the big void could be filled by illegal trade in the long term and may not necessarily come our way. I think we should take advantage of any marginal increase we may get and start investing some of that money into changing the business model . I am convinced that in the long term tobacco business is not going to be our saviour. Fresh & chill and food to go will save our bacon ( excuse the pun) .

    Arjan Mehr Londis Bracknell

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Isn't it hypocritical to make extra profit from selling extra tobacco?
    For the last two years independents have been fighting the cover up. Tobacco is a dying trade 'literally' it doesn't have a long term future, the market will unavoidably shrink.
    I agree with Arjan Mehr shops need to refocus their business model and have a more balanced approach to what they sell and not to rely on tobacco.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • gantry
  • TOBACCO CIGS FAGS
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

FOLLOW US