Londis is investing £500,000 in reducing the price of four key premium cigarette brands in the run up to the busy festive season.

The tobacco price cuts are part of a package of promotions aimed at giving Londis retailers “a competitive edge in the tobacco category”, Londis retail director John Pattison said.

They follow on from a campaign to reduce the price of a number of value cigarette brands back in September.

The most recent price reductions have been issued on the premium cigarette brands Marlboro, Silk Cut, Benson & Hedges and Lambert & Butler.

“This push on tobacco comes as convenience retailers enter one of their busiest periods for tobacco sales and ahead of the market ‘going dark’ in April 2015, when all in-store gantries will be covered,” Pattison added.

“It also recognises the fact that tobacco remains a key footfall driver for convenience store retailers.”

According to Imperial Tobacco, cigarette sales tend to rise in the run up to the Christmas period, with premium brands seeing the greatest uplift in sales the weekend before Christmas as adult smokers trade up.

Booker dropped the price of 23 key tobacco lines in October. Price drops were made on big brands including Marlboro, Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut, with Booker claiming that the move would improve its customers’ margins by £3m.