A leading convenience retailer who has increased sales after promoting product deals on his tobacco gantry has challenged tobacco manufacturers to develop their own advertising solutions for independent stores.

Dan Cock, owner of Premier Whitstone Village Stores in Devon, has put up posters on his tobacco display to grow awareness of Booker’s Mega Deals.

He is now planning to use the space to promote his store’s range of services, including dry cleaning, which he plans to rotate on a monthly basis. 

Mr Cock said he was determined to continue the practice despite not asking his gantry provider, Imperial Tobacco, for permission to do so.

“I would say one in 10 customers now inquire about the deals since we put them on the gantry, and we have seen more people picking up these offers,” he said.

“I expect there’ll be some disagreements with Imperial over this, but it is prime advertising space we can’t afford to waste.”

Mr Cock is now urging gantry providers to work with companies to develop their own marketing material, which he plans to raise at a meeting with the manufacturer later this month.

He said: “I think they really need to work with symbol groups and suppliers to come up with marketing solutions for retailers.”

I would say one in 10 customers now inquire about the deals since we put them on the gantry, and we have seen more people picking up these offers

An Imperial Tobacco statement said it has made a “significant investment” supplying covered gantries to ensure retailers are legally compliant with display restriction regulations.

It added: “We have intentionally designed the doors of the unit so that we can use the space as a category signpost for tobacco shoppers.”

Rival tobacco manufacturer JTI previously told RN that advertising on its gantries was in breach of its merchandising loan agreement unless retailers had specific permission from the company.

It comes as a survey of more than 1,200 retailers conducted by the Association of Convenience Stores found that more than 90% of store owners have no concerns about compliance with the tobacco display ban.