A Balloch retailer has swapped tobacco for toys and made £1,000 a week before Christmas by creating a Pokémon display behind the counter.

Andy Howell, owner of Loch Lomond News, made the decision to move his gantry as stocks of tobacco decreased.

“My gantry looked decimated and it was such a waste of space. At the same time there was more demand for Pokémon merchandise so we took a brave decision to display it there,”
he said.

Pokemon displayHis range is supplied by Dracco, Cards and Crazes and Muddleit and contains collectable cards, plushy toys and box sets, which offer margins of up to 40%.

“We’ve always been known for pocket money toys and we’re constantly getting asked for bigger sets. Some of the packs we sold before Christmas were for £50.”

Last November Loch Lomond News scooped the NFRN award for Collectable Product Retailer of the Year.

“We had three weeks of coverage in the local press after that and then two more once we told them about the new toy display. We still have all the signs for tobacco up and sales are still strong so we’ve not looked back yet.”