Independent retailer David Worlsford is set to open a tobacco ‘shop within a shop’ in advance of the tobacco display ban coming into force in small stores next April.

The dedicated area would ensure that the store, Farrant’s in Cobham, Surrey, remained a destination for tobacco sales, David said. He has already extended his range of cigars and pipe tobacco to set the store apart from local competition, and achieved classification as a specialist tobacconist.

The separate bespoke tobacco room will be positioned towards the rear of his store and will be accessible only to over-18s and feature a browsable open gantry.

Cigars, pipe tobacco and premium cigarette brands will be placed inside the room, while value cigarette brands and roll your own tobacco will remain on the store’s current gantry, behind a new set of 
sliding doors.

“The tobacco room will have smoked glass all the way around, but an open gantry inside. At the moment my plan is to also move my premium range of cigarettes such as Sobranie into the room, and keep value cigarette brands and roll your own products on the main store gantry.

“Adult smokers like to browse the premium cigarette category, while they come in specifically to buy lower priced products,” David added.

He is also planning to convert the store’s basement into a tobacco ‘sampling room’ with space for up to 30 cigar and pipe tobacco aficionados to come and sample products.

Both rooms will be run by a specialist tobacco manager.

Tobacco sales at the store, which also sells a wide range of newspapers, confectionery, cards and some chilled goods, are currently up year on year.