Daniel Ryan from Hiccups Off  License in Stoke-on-Trent

JTI has announced the four national winners as part of the final stage of the Nordic Spirit Perfect Store Competition.

Starting in 2022 as part of the wider Perfect Store Guide, stores have been judged against five pillars to generate awareness of nicotine pouches in-store among existing adult smokers and vapers, and boost sales of Nordic Spirit.

The best performing retailers have now been awarded with the help of Bruce Terry, portfolio brand manager at JTI UK and Graham Stafford, chief operating officer at The Fed.

The winners across each region are: Daniel Ryan (pictured) of Hiccups Off License Stoke-on-Trent; Depan Patel of Bon Bon, Canterbury; Hanif Master of Ribble Valley, Burnley; and Shantha Kumar of Premier Downend, Bristol. Each retailer excelled in JTI’s points system and will now receive a prize bundle worth up to £20,000 per store. This includes a paid trip to the Nordic region, £2,000 wholesaler credit, tickets to events and much more.

Bruce Terry, portfolio brand manager at JTI UK, said: “The Perfect Store competition has been a huge success over the past year, and we want to thank all the retailers that have been involved. We are pleased to finally share our winners and hope that all involved have seen the benefits of following the five key pillars which consist of maintaining distribution and availability, ensuring clear visibility, increasing brand presence, building up your knowledge and competitive on-shelf pricing. We would encourage other retailers to look at our Perfect Store framework with the support of their JTI Business Advisers and see how they can elevate their nicotine pouch offering in store to really make the most of the opportunity – especially now Nordic Spirit is now worth £1.6 million a month, with the category continuing to grow [IRI].”

Graham Stafford, COO at The FED, who supported with the judging process, said: “During the judging process, the hard work of retailers once again shone through with many going to great lengths to transform the way they sold nicotine pouches in store with merchandising that displays Nordic Spirit prominently and clearly in store, from POS through to countertop display units. Not only did retailers make physical changes to their store, but they were also judged on their knowledge of the portfolio and how they and their staff could communicate this to shoppers. It’s fantastic to see major suppliers like JTI UK continue to focus on the convenience channel, and the Perfect Store framework is an innovative way to engage retailers, and crucially help them increase their nicotine pouch sales.”  

Hanif from Ribble Valley Forecourt said: “We were the only shop in a busy location selling Nordic Spirit. In the first six weeks of following the Nordic Spirit Perfect Store model, my sales of Nordic Spirit in store increased from 30% percent to 65%. We restock twice a week and are finding the same customers are coming back and we’re also generating new customers.

“The selection of flavours was of interest to our shoppers. The great thing about Nordic Spirit is there is no smoke, no vapour, and you can enjoy it indoors, outdoors and even when travelling. We have invested time in educating staff about Nordic Spirit and therefore they are confident talking to customers on a daily basis.”

Retailers can visit the JTI Advance website and speak to their local JTI Business Adviser to find out more about Nordic Spirit and implementing the Perfect Store guidelines in their store, as well as upcoming campaigns, retailer initiatives and competitions planned for the future.