Retailers are being urged to stick to tobacco rrps once pricemarked packs (PMPs) start to disappear from 20 May.

After this date, UK tobacco manufacturers will no longer be able to produce branded packs or PMPs. Retailers will have a further year to sell through, but fast-selling lines could run out as early as this summer.

Ensuring that tobacco remains competitively priced was “likely to become more vital than ever,” Imperial Tobacco head of field sales Andrew Miller said, “otherwise you may increase the risk of losing customers to rival retailers. With adult smokers often being important footfall drivers, this could also have repercussions on shoppers’ overall basket spends.”

Bestway club and symbol director James Hall also urged retailers to “think about their pricing”.

“The temptation to ‘rework’ the rrp to become more lucrative in terms of margin will possibly discourage customers to visit if the multiple retailers and others stay true to rrp,” he told Convenience Store.

“If they put an additional 10-15p on a pack to make a quick buck then they will lose the sale.”