Philip Morris (PMI) has announced the expansion of its current Iqos sale referral trial to around 8,000 UK retailers.

The tobacco manufacturer is working with a handful of retailers that refer interested customers to PMI reps. These reps then sell the Iqos unit and train the customer on how to use the device.

A PMI spokesperson told Retail Express: “Once a referral has been made, a Philip Morris representative makes contact with the adult smoker and manages the relationship. This frees up the retailer to focus on running their business and ensures consistent and personalised customer service delivery every time.”

The spokesperson added that the system had received “an extremely positive initial response from retailers”.

Garry Haigh from Keystore Peterhead Motors in Aberdeenshire told Retail Express that the trial was working. “We had loads of interest within hours of starting the trial,” he said.

PMI has promised that the scheme will not affect the number of store visits its reps conduct.

A rep from PMI told Retail Express that the “guided trials” were to ensure customers were happy with the device in order to build Iqos’s reputation.

Read more: See why Iqos was named 'innovation of the year' in the RN Retailer Choice Awards 2017.