Small stores across the UK are endeavouring to comply with the tobacco display ban which came into force yesterday (6 April).
It is now illegal for cigarettes and other tobacco products to be kept on open display. Retailers who fail to comply with the law could be hit with fines of up to £5,000.
While thousands of small stores received help from JTI and Imperial Tobacco to make their gantries compliant, it is thought that around a quarter have been forced to implement their own solutions.
The Association of Convenience Stores said it had been receiving “upwards of 50 calls a day” from panicked retailers in the last month.
“Most of the calls were from retailers who aren’t part of a symbol group and don’t necessarily read the trade press, so were largely unaware of the legislation and how to be compliant,” head of communications Chris Noice told Convenience Store.
The display ban legislation has also changed the way in which tobacco prices are displayed. Only three types of price lists and labels are now allowed. Each of these must only use black Helvetica plain font of the same size, with no underlining, italics or other distinguishing emphasis.
The display ban was introduced in 2012 for all stores over 3,000 sq ft with a three year period allowed for smaller retailers to prepare for the change.