Retailers will be forced to fork out more than £1,800 in order to comply with the government’s proposed ban on tobacco display, statistics from the Association of Convenience Stores’ consultation response show.

The figure, which was calculated by a UK-based retail furniture company and is based on a 2m by 1.5m gantry, is more than double the amount originally estimated by Ministers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said it was clear that the cost of the ban had been severely underestimated. “Throughout the passage of the Bill through Parliament, Ministers have talked about a ‘light touch’ approach to these regulations and have estimated the costs being between £210 and £850 per store. Our research shows that the proposals are anything but light touch,” he said.

“The government must address these costs. We are engaging to try to find less expensive solutions, and our submission is a responsible attempt to reduce costs for the convenience store industry,” he added.

The ACS also predicts that, should the legislation go through in its current form, average tobacco transaction times would increase by up to 30 seconds.