Retailers can continue to buy pricemarked packs (PMPs) of JTI cigarettes and rolling tobacco with confidence, ahead of the VAT increase to 20% on January 4.

The Silk Cut manufacturer told Convenience Store that it would be implementing price reductions from December 20, which should compensate those customers who bought through wholesalers and cash and carries and sold its PMPs.

“The value of the compensation is dependent on the price of the brand and should ensure that our customers do not lose money as a result of the increase in VAT,” JTI head of communications Jeremy Blackburn said. “We thank retailers for their ongoing support in maintaining availability of our pricemarked range of brands through this period.”

Last week C-Store reported that many retailers were planning to run down stocks of PMPs ahead of the new year rise in VAT, for fear that their trade margins would be eroded.

Imperial Tobacco led the way, announcing that it would lower the cost price of PMPs from December 13 to ensure that this did not happen.