Dean Holborn Holborns, South Nutfield and Redhill, Surrey
What is your top-selling cigarette brand and why is it popular? Mayfair King Size 20s is our best-selling brand, probably because it’s pricemarked. Next is Benson & Hedges Silver (not pricemarked) then Mayfair King Size 10s.
How much do you sell a pack of 20 for? We sell a pack of Mayfair King Size for £5.65 and our margin on that is 4.21%. Of course, I’d like to see a better margin, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Instead you have to look at what that space behind your till produces per metre.
Do you stock many PMPs? We stock PMPs our customers like them because they perceive them to offer good value. They think our cigarettes are cheap and keep coming back.
Would you like to see more PMPs made available? No, there are enough already.
Dave Newman Newman Food & Wine, Hastings, East Sussex
Are your cigarette sales up or down on last year and, if so, by how much? They’re about the same, but in real terms, because of price increases, they are down.
What is your top-selling cigarette brand? Mayfair King Size, which is pricemarked at £5.65. We make a margin of 5.4%, or 30p profit.
Do you feel that the margins are adequate? No, but we do get the volume sales, the footfall and the other purchases that come with cigarettes. You also need to remember the stockholding. Once it might have cost £4,000 to fill a gantry, but now it costs loads more.
Are you aware of illicit tobacco being sold in your area? I’ve been offered illicit stock twice, by customers. We do have a big problem with it. There’s been an influx of small c-stores opening who sell illicit stock from under the counter. They are very brazen about it. Most established retailers like me wouldn’t do it.
Paul Stone Spar, Oxford Road, Manchester
Are your tobacco sales up or down on last year and, if so, by how much? They’re pretty stable overall. Our cigarette sales are down by 4% year on year, but our sales of rolling tobacco are growing fast.
Are you, or have you ever been, aware of illicit tobacco being sold in your area? I have never seen illicit tobacco being sold in the city, but I am sure it goes on.
What do you think drives some retailers to sell illicit stock? I guess retailers just want to make a fast buck and aren’t concerned about breaking the law. They should be, though, as seizure rates are increasing all the time.
Where do you get advice on ranging from? We get advice from all the major suppliers, but we also look closely at what sells, and talk to shoppers about what they want. How we order the display is decided by the supplier who has provided the gantry.
Neil McRobbie Mace Westwinds and Conlig, Newtownards, County Down
Are your cigarette sales up or down on last year and, if so, by how much? Sales are up by a couple of percent.
What is your top-selling cigarette brand? At Westwinds it’s Richmond King Size, and at Conlig it’s Lambert & Butler.
How much do you sell a pack of 20 for? A pack of 20 Lambert & Butler retails for £6.11 and I make 4.2% on that, just over 25p. It’s not nearly enough when you consider the hassle involved from the security to the extra insurance costs. Customers don’t realise this.
Do you stock many PMPs? I’m not averse to them, but margins are less.
Are you aware of illicit tobacco being sold in your area? I know that on some of the estates illicit trade is rife, however I’ve never been offered them. I don’t think there’s enough education about the dangers of smoking illicit tobacco. If there was, people would think again.
Cash in: Tobacco - Sticking around
Cash in: Tobacco - Premium cigarettes