Philip Morris Limited has launched a new website with the aim of supporting independent retailers ahead of the May 2020 menthol ban, and giving them a place to register to sell Iqos and Heets products.

The move comes as part of PML’s plans to make its Iqos heated tobacco products available to the independent channel in 2020.

“The new site is where retailers can sign up their interest for selling Iqos,” PML managing director Peter Nixon told betterRetailing in December 2019. “We’ll be developing a starter kit, which is the Iqos and two different menthol products, which will be sold at a preferential price for independent retail.”  

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Nixon said retailers will need to verify they are a retailer and over 18 to register on the site. “The only ask we have is that the retailer check the age and the identification of customers and register the consumer because we want to make sure it’s adult smokers who are buying the product.”

According to Nixon, the site will provide a number of services for retailers in the run up to the menthol ban.

“Will be supporting independent retail by regularly giving out information and margin support. Most of our engagement will be done digitally. Retailers will sign up to the website and we’ll do everything directly through digital means, and then follow it up with a call centre and the field force,” he explained.

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“For retailers, 20 May is a moment of truth, and it’s best they have a broad range of options. In our research, Iqos comes out as the top option people want to buy, so we want to make sure it’s available to retailers.”

According to PML, the website will give advice on the company’s buy-back scheme, selling Iqos devices and Heets products, and generating sales. It also includes a calculator to show the impact the menthol ban could have on a retailer’s business.

Retailers can sign up to the site at: menthol-ban-retail.co.uk

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