Tobacco Opportunities for Smaller Stores

Date released:  30th April 2013


Mini Munchies

New this week are these delicious Happy Shopper biscuit pouches. Perfect for the impulse customer, they appeal to the shopper looking for on-the-go convenient snacks.

They come in four delicious varieties: Mini All Butter Shortbread (75g); Mini Brownie Style Cookies (75g); Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies (75g); Mini Cheese Thins (199g). And with a POR of 40.8%, they are profitable for the independent retailer too.
If you run a local convenience store, now is a good time to focus on your tobacco sales.

In Scotland, grocery stores over 3000 square foot went 'dark' on Monday. This means that all tobacco is now stored behind a closed shutter, so customers will have to ask for the product they want from memory, and without knowing the price.

This presents a good business opportunity for anyone in Scotland running a store under 3000 square foot, as they can sell tobacco in an environment that is more straightforward and transparent for the customer.

In England, larger tobacco retailers went 'dark' last year. Interestingly, Nielsen statistics show although tobacco sales then went down by 6.4% overall, there was a clear shift into the small store sector.

These showed sales that were 3 to 4% worse than than Scotland and Wales who had not gone dark. Conversely, the smaller, under 3,000 square foot retailers in England showed sales 3-4% better than Scotland and Wales. Multiples grocers are down 7.8%, whilst independents are only down 3.3%.

One way to make the most of visibility in small stores is to stock price marked packs. At Booker, we have a wide range of price marked products available in our wholesale tobacco area, from Drum and Golden Virginia, to Pall Mall and Benson & Hedges.

If you're looking for a product with a strong POR, our Carlton brand offers at least 8%, and comes in wholesale cases of 10 or 20 packets. If you buy price marked cigarettes from Booker, you can also sell them at the pre-budget price, while stocks last.

Whatever size of store you run, it's important to keep abreast of changes in the law, and make sure that you know how it applies to you.

For straightforward information on how the new legislation affects your business, take a look at the website of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, here: www.tobaccoretailersalliance.org.uk.

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