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The tobacco display ban; how has it affected sales?

In the 6 months since the display ban convenience stores have struggled to deal with decreasing tobacco sales.

It may come as no surprise that the display ban has hit smaller stores hard since it came into effect in April. With The Grocer reporting that 36% stores have had to face a drop in sales and Him! finding this figure to be 23%, what we can agree on is that the future of tobacco sales in convenience stores may not be as bright as some would have hoped.

Of these 36%, 4% reported that their sales had dropped by up to a massive 50%, whilst 35% said they had seen a decrease of as much as 30%. However, the fact that 61% of these retailers said sales have dropped by up to 10% suggests that the knock on effects of the ban may not be as disappointing as expected.

Whilst it is clear that the display ban has had a direct impact on sales for both convenience stores and supermarkets, it’s not to say the effects can’t be reversed. Commenting on the fact that nearly two thirds of retailers studied saw no impact on sales, JTI UK Head of Communications Jeremy Blackburn notes that “retailers who take time to adjust, invest and improve their tobacco category management will benefit from growing sales”.

It may be a case of the convenience stores simply getting used to the big change and perhaps the plummet in sales is what stores need in order to persuade them to more closely manage their tobacco category. Whilst it appears the ban has squeezed tobacco sales, other trends such as the increase in vaping must also be considered when looking at how to boost the figures.

Find out more about the Tobacco Display Ban and what you need to do to comply here >> 

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