BAT UK’s new gantry

BAT UK partnered with Retail Express and seven retailers to unveil its new alternative nicotine gantry, show how it’s made and gain feedback for future modifications

BAT UK has launched a new gantry, specifically for vapes and alternative nicotine products. The manufacturer said the landscape for tobacco has changed and new products are on the rise, and their aim is to help independent convenience retailers update their tobacco gantries. 

The gantry is built fit for purpose and highlights new products, offering more convenience to their shoppers by stocking the right products for their target audience of adult nicotine consumers. With the new gantry, retailers can show their vape and alternative nicotine products in a clear and distinct way with its backlit black design. This also allows customers to browse and make the decision that’s right for them. 

Above the gantry are three media screens that help retailers market their Vuse and Velo ranges. The screens can also be tailored to the retailer if a promotion is running, so adult nicotine consumers are informed before they reach the till area. 

The first gantries will be installed by June and take a day to install. BAT UK has a dedicated installation team throughout the UK and will work with retailers to determine the best time for installation, including options outside of business hours. 

Retailers will enter an initial five-year contract with a 50% requirement of BAT UK’s products to ensure maximum rewards. There is no installation cost for retailers using the My BAT Rewards platform. 

The flagship store

Irfan Ahmad, owner of Day- Today in Glasgow, became the first retailer in the UK to offer BAT UK’s new gantry solution. His decision to install BAT UK’s latest innovation was its modern design and focus on alternative nicotine products. 

“Other companies we reached out to could only offer the traditional tobacco gantry,” explained Ahmad. “BAT UK’s new gantry is offering something new by focusing on alternative nicotine products.” 

The gantry’s backlit lighting is what stood out to Ahmad the most. “Lighting can help offer customers a new experience of seeing a product,” he said. “The experience they receive means they are more likely to return.” 

Ahmad opened his 800sq ft store in February and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The retailer offers a wide range of products , including food-to-go, grocery and hardware, to meet as many shopper missions as possible. 

It was important to Ahmad to offer his customers a wide range of alternative nicotine products, from vapes to modern disposables to nicotine pouches. Within this, visibility was important to Ahmad, as was collaboration with suppliers. 

“Working with BAT UK has been great,” Ahmad said. “BAT UK worked with me every step of the way, helping me to understand what’s currently trending within the alternative nicotine category, as well as ensuring we offered the right products,” Ahmad said. 

BAT UK launches innovative vape gantry to indies

Retailer viewpoints

Atul Sodha, Londis Harefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex 

 “I love that a large company, like BAT UK, has invested in a unit that shows off its products well. I like that the new gantry is a modular fit. The digital screen above the gantry also looks incredibly professional.” 

Kay Patel, Best-one Wanstead, London

 “The gantry is an interesting concept. It looks better in person than the visuals we have seen. I like the modular aspect of the gantry and how BAT UK are open to changing the gantry according to retailer feedback.”

Bobby Singh, BB Nevison Superstore, Pontefract, Yorkshire

 “The gantry looks sleek and professional; we like the screens. BAT UK’s products are in a prime position and nicotine pouches have been displayed clearly. The back lighting also helps the product stand out.” 

Supplier viewpoint

Hashim Tahir, B2B executive, BAT UK 

 “With the exceptional growth of vapes in the past few years, BAT UK noticed a gap in the market, and we realised retailers aren’t equipped to merchandise and range the category correctly to drive sales and attract adult nicotine consumers to the category. 

“We want to help retailers update their tobacco gantries, which can be seen as outdated as retailers transition to drawers underneath the till area. The gantry we have built offers a multi-category solution where retailers are able to display vapes and alternative nicotine products together while having space for tobacco.” 

Being sustainable with BAT’s new gantry

Building a sustainable gantry solution was key for BAT UK. The manufacturer’s latest solution takes environmental and societal factors into account and uses 100% recycled plastic. The gantry also uses a selection of wood and metal and is reduced in weight compared to its previous solutions. 

Following the visit in Glasgow, six out of seven retailers joined BAT UK and Retail Express to visit this factory to see how each gantry is made and understand the structural integrity and quality. 

The backlit lighting featured throughout is installed at the Zedis factory in Barcelona using LED lighting. 

Retailers in attendance suggested putting the gantry on timers to make it easier for them to further reduce energy consumption. Based on this feedback, BAT UK and Zedis explained that a plug that runs on Wi-Fi can help monitor its overall usage. 

In addition to LED lighting, the new gantry offers push mechanisms, adjustable shelf height and has a central locking system for the drawers to help keep tobacco secure. 

Retailers will also benefit from upgradable product labels and unique planogram updates. 

Upholding quality

Zedis, the company behind BAT UK’s latest innovation, makes each component in-house to ensure quality comes first, while putting sustainability at the forefront, which the six retailers in attendance have now seen first-hand. 

Materials used to build the gantry are all sourced within a 50km radius of the factory, so carbon emissions are kept low. The gantry also has zero wastage, because any leftover material during the building process is either reused or sent away to be recycled. Some areas of the gantry are finished by hand to ensure the units are long-lasting. 

The factory uses different moulds, with the electrics running through the design, to ensure there are no loose wires and the gantry’s quality is upheld. 

The gantry’s LED lighting is also installed at Zedis’ factory. It uses LED lower and upper package lighting, and the electrical installation is certified. 

Changes to the gantry can, and have, been made on-stie. For example, in Glasgow, the retailer feedback was updating the colour of the shelving panels within the gantry, from oak to black. This was achieved by Zedis’ team in less than a week. 

Retailer viewpoints

Vince Malone, Tenby Stores and Post Office, Pembrokeshire

“It’s clear BAT UK are great at what they do and today has been fantastic. From a customer’s point of view, the gantry is really eye-catching. It will capture their attention as soon as they walk in store, and while they might not purchase something straightaway, it brings those products to the forefront of their mind.”

Sunita Aggarwal, Spar Hackenthorpe, Sheffield

“Going on the tour was amazing to see how they put everything together. We also liked how they source all their materials locally, too. It’s nice to be part of the journey, listened and spoken to us and taken on our ideas.”

Trudy Davies, Woosnam & Davies, Llanidloes, Powys

“The factory tour was really interesting and was great to see how the gantry is made. I’m very impressed with the fact that everything is manufactured here and that everything which can be, is recycled. The sustainability of the factory is amazing. BAT UK has completely taken on board our feedback from Glasgow, even down to the width and depth.”

Natalie Lightfoot, Londis Solo Convenience, Glasgow

“BAT UK has listened to all of our feedback, both from Glasgow and today in Barcelona, and know it’s lots of different things they need to take into consideration. These include the route to market, how it would fit into convenience stores and how we are all different as retailers.”

Bobby Singh, BB Nevison Superstore, Pontefract, Yorkshire

 “The gantry looks sleek and professional; we like the screens. BAT UK’s products are in a prime position and nicotine pouches have been displayed clearly. The back lighting also helps the product stand out.” 

Supplier viewpoint

Afzalur Rahman, business development manager, BAT UK

“The alternative nicotine category is evolving very quickly and it’s hard to determine where it will lead to next. We want to work with independent retailers to create an ideal solution to help them navigate the category and be successful in it too.

“Today’s visit was about showcasing retailers the process of how each gantry is made, and to gain their feedback to build a strong foundation for convenience stores. What we received was insightful and helped us to understand what could be improved. BAT has taken the retailers’ feedback and promised to consider this for future developments.”

 What’s next?

Find more about the factory tour and how BAT UK bought its gantry to life in the RN 5 May edition.

If you’d like to know more about BAT UK’s new gantry solution call 020 7689 0500 or complete the form below


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