Small store lobby groups are claiming a limited victory after the Department of Health (DoH) announced amendments to the tobacco display ban regulations which will reduce the practical difficulties and implementation costs of the ban.

A key concession concerns the 'permitted display area', which is the amount of gantry space that can be exposed when a retailer is restocking or retrieving product from the unit after a customer request.

Under the amended rules, which come into force for small shops in 2013, a requested display of 0.75sq m will be allowed, meaning that a typical c-store gantry of 2m x 1.5m will only need to be fitted with four doors, rather than the 20 mooted in the original proposal.

The concession would lead to cheaper fitting solutions and be easier for retailers to use, Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said.

The revised legislation also includes a change to the size of price list that retailers will be able to display at till points. Draft legislation had proposed that all brand price and size details be contained on one single A4 list. However, following concerted campaigning from trade associations and Convenience Store, the size has been doubled to A3. The move will allow retailers to list their ranges in full and ensure that larger brands are not favoured over smaller ones.

Lowman said: "The concessions improve a bad situation but the ban will still be costly, disruptive and pointless."