RN looks back at the stories making headlines this week and next.

  • The government needs to take responsibility for its legislation.

Preparations for the display ban have been left to local authorities which don’t seem to have the resources or know-how to educate retailers about the requirements. Only one of 12 councils we contacted was able to tell us it had started speaking to retailers and little provision appears to have been made for those who don’t have English as a first language.

  • Newspaper publishers are still willing to experiment.

The plan by Newsquest to launch a daily title for Scotland as a five day trial is interesting. But are plans for The National bold enough? It’s only printing 50,000 copies and the level of retail support and PoS remains unclear.

  • Support is growing for tougher action against rogue retailers.

When the idea of a registration scheme for tobacco retailers was first mooted, many reacted with horror on the basis that it appeared likely to be attached to a fee. We’re now speaking to an increasing number of retailers who want to see life made more difficult for those who choose to sell illicit cigarettes. Banning them – either with councils given power to serve orders or with offenders being struck off a register – would send a clear message.

  • …But regulation can go too far.

Asking retailers in one London borough not to sell single cans of beer and cider hasn’t gone down well. Manufacturers need to be more vocal and stop local councils acting outside of their authority.

  • NFRN making strides in corridors of power

The NFRN’s 2015 Manifesto launch drew some big name politicians. Communities secretary Eric Pickles was among 57 MPs who turned up to hear the federation set out its public affairs agenda. The fact is that no seat is safe and politicians are more keen to listen than ever. All engaged retailers need to take advantage.