JTI is struggling to keep up with demand for popular ranges, leaving retailers with gaps in their gantries.

Retailers said they had received information from Booker that Amber Leaf, Sterling rolling tobacco, B&H Blue, Sovereign, King Six, Special Virginia, Hamlet, Old Holborn, Silk Cut Silver and Logic Curve are all experiencing ‘supply issues.’

The issue was first flagged several weeks ago at the NFRN Annual Conference in Torquay when Booker sales director Steve Fox told the audience that lines of RYO including Amber Leaf had been impacted by changes in customer behaviour.

A JTI spokesperson explained to Retail Express: “Following disruptions caused by the recent TPD2 regulations, which have seen smaller packs of cigarettes and tobacco disappear from gantries, consumer demand has shifted towards a different set of SKU’s.”

The spokesperson continued: “This has meant some availability issues but JTI is continuing to work with wholesalers and retailers in order to meet demand.”

Retailers are split on whether TPD2 should have led to shortages. Leon Hill from Spar Stithians said: “They have had a whole year to manufacture TPD stock and a couple of months in and they're out of stock!”

Christine Donnelly, from Great Milton Post Office and Stores in Oxfordshire countered: “In their defence I've run low on certain lines recently.

"Customers have made some very odd post TDP changes to what they buy. I've rationalised our range too. So assuming this multiplies up the chain, it could have caught the manufacturers out.”