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So it’s official now. Despite pre-election promises the Coalition will ban open tobacco displays in independent shops from 2015 and they are seriously considering putting cigarettes into plain packaging. Retailers will have to sell an extra £20,000 worth of tobacco just to cover the average £1,000 cost of implementation.
Inevitably it’s difficult for independent retailers to take a positive view on this as today’s comments on the Tobacco Retailers’ Association website testify, it’s interesting to find many of the public are equally unimpressed, read their comments on the bbc website. The one consolation is, as Stef pointed out in his June blog, that retailers have a three-year window of ‘opportunity’ for tobacco sales as the display ban is put into place with supermarkets this October. If indeed the writing is finally on the wall it does of course mean that it is more important than ever to diversify your in-store offer to recoup this loss.
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