Sainsbury’s will not sell fireworks this year, presenting a £2m opportunity for independent stores, according to one of the UK’s largest importers.

Vikas Buying Group and Emperor Fireworks sales director Rish Datta told betterRetailing: “It’s margins of up to 77%, so it’s a big opportunity for that two- or three-week period. It’s been kept quiet, but Sainsbury’s have stopped selling fireworks. They normally sell around £2m-worth so it’s a chance for smaller retailers to capture those sales.”

Stores need a licence to store fireworks at any time and can sell them without an additional retail licence in the build-up to holidays including Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.

Read more: Check ID to stop underage teenagers buying fireworks

Asked who can help stores to legally sell the products, Datta answered: “Trading standards. Or we will help throughout the whole process, we’ll get the forms and advise on how to fill them out. There’s very little required for a retailer to stock fireworks – to get the licence is far, far easier than an alcohol licence.”

The NFRN advises new licence requests will require a floorplan, risk assessment and site visit from the local trading standards department.

Stores trading without the proper licence risk fines up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

Read more: Five ways to make more from Halloween and Bonfire Night