Pricewatch: 30 November, 2018 - Rolling tobacco

Analysis

It will come as little surprise that price is incredibly competitive on rolling tobacco lines, with the biggest difference to multiples’ pricing just 35p on one line.

However, the fact that independent convenience stores do not need to be quite so tight on pricing is clear from the fact that every line in our top 12, except two, is being sold above Booker’s RRP. All the average prices are higher than Tesco. 

Tesco stocks to Booker’s prices shows a difference of £2.32. Retailers can price keenly if they choose, but more often than not, shoppers are happy to pay the price for convenience. 

Looking at our six sample stores in the table opposite, you can see where the opportunity for higher prices lie. 

Like for like, the village post office in north Wales is the most expensive, with a convenience store in a large town shackled to more competitive prices. 

Profit checker

Price Price distribution %

Price checker

Product Average UK Retail Price Booker RRP LOCAL POST OFFICE AND C-STORE IN SUBURB OF LARGE LEICESTERSHIRE TOWN SMALL POST OFFICE AND NEWSAGENT IN KENT VILLAGE HIGH STREET NORTH WALES VILLAGE POST OFFICE AND SHOP VERY SMALL SHOP IN OXFORDSHIRE VILLAGE C-STORE IN REDIDENTIAL AREA OF NORTH YORKDHIRE COSTAL RESORT SWANSEA TOWN CENTRE C STORE
AMBER LEAF RYO 30g £13.60 £13.50 £13.60 £13.50 £13.90 £13.70 £13.50 £14.02
GOLD LEAF QUALITY BLEND 30g £10.87 £10.50 £10.50 £11.02 £11.86 £11.62 £10.50 £10.82
GOLDEN VIRGINIA ORIGINAL 30g £14.04 £14.00 £13.64 £14.20 £14.33 £14.20 £14.00 £14.14
AMBER LEAF 50g £22.70 £22.92 £22.55 £23.00 £22.90 £23.10 £22.92 £22.92
STERLING RYO 30g £11.25 £10.60 £11.42 £11.00 £11.83 £10.96 £10.76 £11.35
CUTTERS CHOICE ORIGINAL 30g £13.71 £13.70 £13.60 £13.85 £14.52 £13.95 - £14.33
GOLDEN VIRGINIA BRIGHT YELLOW POCKET PLUS 30g £13.53 £13.60 £12.95 £13.26 £13.55 £13.90 £13.50 £13.66
GOLDEN VIRGINIA ORIGINAL 50g £23.15 £23.20 £22.85 £23.15 £23.27 £23.45 £23.20 £23.52
CUTTERS CHOICE EXTRA SMOOTH 30g £11.71 £11.10 - - £11.50 £11.68 £11.98 -
GOLD LEAF RYO 50g £17.74 £17.35 £17.30 £18.80 £18.40 £17.52 £17.35 £17.58
AMBER LEAF 3 IN 1 CRUSHPROOF BOX 30g £13.83 £13.70 £13.70 £14.40 £14.00 £13.80 £13.70 £14.05
MARLBORO GOLD FINE CUT TOBACCO 30g £10.35 £10.00 £10.50 £10.36 - £10.64 £10.00 £10.85
Data supplied by
Data supplied by

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Drive your profits

Naresh Gajri  Avatar

Naresh Gajri

Cranhill Convenience Store

Location: Glasgow

Size: 2,900sq ft

Type: residential

Top Tip
Price at RRP to offer your customers value
We have real problems with duty-free and illegal tobacco in our area. My customers will come in and be quite honest about what’s happening ‒ there’s an ice cream van that is the biggest supplier of this stuff. I price at RRP and don’t go under that because if customers are going there and getting stock for £7 or £8, then being able to get it 50p below RRP from me is not going to make any difference. Gold Leaf is our biggest seller and then after that it’s Kensitas Club, a Scottish brand that’s been resurrected as a budget rolling tobacco.
David Worsfold Avatar

David Worsfold

Farrants News

Location: Cobham, Surrey

Size: 3,000sq ft

Type: high street

Top Tip
Price according to your demographic and area
I have seen a gradual move from cigarettes to rolling tobacco as price becomes more important – particularly since plain packaging. At least, that’s what I’m hearing anecdotally. With cigarettes, people see no differentiation in products, but with rolling tobacco, Golden Virginia and Amber Leaf are our biggest sellers. Our approach is to price with ‘cost plus’ and I aim for an 11% to 15% margin across tobacco. That’s not what our reps say, but I think you’ve got to do it if your shop happens to be in an area in which it’s possible.
Barry Chandi  Avatar

Barry Chandi

Nisa

Location: Buckden, St Neots

Size: 1,800sq ft

Type: village

Top Tip
Be mindful of what other retailers are selling rolling tobacco for
We’re the only convenience store in our village so, while we don’t take too much advantage, we do price a little bit over RRP. When prices went up after the Budget we thought, ‘That’s what we’ve been charging already,’ so we put ours up again. Everybody knows how expensive our local competitors are, so they don’t mind that we put 15p or 20p on the RRP. Our biggest seller is Amber Leaf, followed by Golden Virginia and then Cutters Choice and a few others. Amber Leaf outsells all the rest put together, however.
Carole Birnie   Avatar

Carole Birnie

Corfe Castle Stores

Location: Corfe Castle, Dorset

Size: 1,000sq ft

Type: village

Top Tip
Pricing at RRP can help you build a loyal customer base
We don’t really have any competition; it’s a 13-mile round trip to Poole, and Dorchester is also miles away. Despite this, we price by RRP, because I’d rather have the trust of customers and have them coming in every day for their shopping. We get a lot of tourist trade and they can be really impressed with our prices, which helps us get repeat purchases. We used to sell a lot of mints alongside our tobacco but that’s dropped off. With our rolling tobacco, we can sell papers and filters, too. Cutters Choice Smooth is our bestseller.

Find out more about RN’s definitive guide to the best-selling products that you need to have on your shelves.

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