The future of tobacco retailing in Scotland is under threat from the most “disruptive and draconian” tobacco display ban in the world, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has said.

The plan, now subject to consultation, requires retailers in Scotland to limit displays to an area the size of a cigarette packet, meaning an average-sized gantry could require more than 140 separate flaps, which retailers say would be prohibitively expensive to implement and impossible to manage.

The government’s estimate of £160 to refit a small corner shop and £320 for a convenience store has also infuriated store owners.

“The technical challenges in fitting a solution to existing units that is robust enough to meet the Ministers’ demands could be insurmountable,” SGF chief executive John Drummond said. “It could result in retailers having to rip out and replace existing units, resulting in an outlay far greater than the estimate.” 

The SGF said it would be making a strong case against the proposals in the weeks leading up to the consultation’s close at the end of July, and urged retailers to do the same.