British American Tobacco says it expects to fit gantry doors at thousands of shops ahead of the display ban next April.
Unlike its two major competitors – JTI and Imperial Tobacco – retailers will contribute towards the cost, but the Pall Mall manufacturer will expect a smaller amount of shelf space.
RN understands that BAT will typically expect between 30% and 40% of space, compared to up to 70% with bigger manufacturers.
There will be no upfront cost and retailers will pay off their contribution through the MOR£ scheme which allows 19,000 retailers to earn cash rewards.
Head of business development Richard Wood said doors were part of a package of dark market support, which will also include workshops and digital support alongside six-weekly visits from its 150 reps.
He said support would focus on maintaining serve time and maximising availability after 6 April.
Mr Wood said: “As part of MOR£, we are saying that you don’t have to go with JTI or Imperial. We are offering an alternative.
“That’s both to retailers who haven’t been offered doors and to those who have but aren’t happy with the offer. We’ve got agreements in place with many retailers already.
Contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis, but there’s no upfront payment for the doors required
“Contracts are negotiated on a case by case basis, but there’s no upfront payment for the doors required.”
Mr Wood said that doors would be fitted from January and a specific solution had been developed for retailers in Scotland.
Manu Ahir, who runs three shops in west Yorkshire, said: “My BAT rep came in and offered to fit gantry doors at all my stores in return for two shelves.
“I’m very tempted to sign up because neither of the other companies wanted to work with us and BAT products like Rothmans and Pall Mall are selling well at the moment.”
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