British American Tobacco (BAT) is helping retailers prepare their tobacco gantries ahead of the display ban in April 2015.

Ron Ridderbeekx, BAT head of corporate affairs, told Retail Express that lots of shops are being offered gantry options by Imperial Tobacco and JTI which are “not satisfactory”.

He said: “We will be offering a solution to people and we have to make sure it looks good. We’ll be looking at what solutions we can offer and how to make them come alive.”

[pull_quote_right]All help is welcome but there now needs to be more detail from BAT[/pull_quote_right]

This is part of the supplier’s ‘MOR£’ programme, and some retailers welcomed the move.

Omkar Patel, who owns Jolleys in Worchester Park, Surrey, said: “All help is welcome. I’m trying to look into solutions for the display ban, but there now needs to be more detail from BAT.”

However, Imperial Tobacco and JTI both defended their support in helping retailers prepare for the display ban.

In October last year Imperial Tobacco launched a new ranging and merchandising initiative, and is now working with retailers to ensure they understand what the legislation will mean.

“We show retailers bestseller lists for their areas to show why they should stock these brands, as well as assisting with merchandising assistance and staff training,” said Tim Oates, Imperial Tobacco independent availability executive.

Retailer Mike Williams, who owns Castle News in Malton, north Yorkshire, said his support from Imperial was “excellent”, particularly around merchandising.

JTI head of communications Jeremy Blackburn, said: “Decisions about the support for individual retailers are currently being made at a local level and JTI will be a position to share its broader strategy later in the year.”