JTI has outlined how it plans to communicate with store owners after its reps returned to stores in England on 1 June.

The move marks the start of the firm’s 12 week window for the return of menthol and non-track and trace compliant stock, following a last minute change in returns policy in the run up to the 20 May menthol ban and track and trace deadline.

A statement from Ross Hennessy, sales vice president at JTI UK explained the steps taken to keep stores safe during visits. He commented: “To incorporate the new government guidelines, we have carried out a full risk assessment, as the safety of our employees and trade partners remains our prime objective. We have strict guidelines in place including the use of PPE, increased social distancing measures, and where possible, we aim to pre-plan any store visits and in-call objectives ahead of arrival. On arrival, we will respect your outlet’s individual guidelines to ensure you, your customers and our employees are adhering to the government rules and safety measures at all times with limited disruption to your business.”

Despite its field teams returning to the road in England, the policies of devolved governments in other parts of the UK means stores continue to go without JTI rep visits. The JTI boss explained: “Local government guidance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland means these staff members in those areas of the country will continue to work from home until further notice. JTI salesforce and account managers in NI, Scotland, and Wales will continue to support your retail outlet remotely.”

Despite the complications, Hennessey said: “we are determined to continue to support our trade partners through this period of uncertainty,” and advised stores in need of support to visit the JTI Advance website or call its customer care line on 0800 163 503.

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