Up to 20% of tobacco packs sold in convenience stores were still branded just days before the sell-through period for branded products expired on Saturday (20 May), new research reveals.

C-stores can only now sell tobacco with standardised packaging under new legislation, but the Retail Data Partnership research suggests there is still a “long way to go” before retailers are ready for this change.

Of the 882,000+ factory-made cigarette packs, 23.27% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs in convenience stores in mid-May, the research revealed.

Of the 127,000+ Roll Your Own Tobacco pouches, 10.56% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs, while only 4.65% of retailers exclusively sold compliant, non-branded packs – up from 3.67% the previous week.

The Retail Data Partnership is warning retailers not to continue selling their remaining branded stock.

“This is obviously risky for retailers who may face prosecution from Trading Standards as well as retribution from their Tobacco gantry provider,” said managing director Stephen Burnett.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has produced comprehensive guidance for retailers on the new changes to tobacco retailing as part of the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive and Standardised Packaging legislation.