What you have on your tobacco gantry for the next year will be dictated by who you buy your stock from, a Retail Express investigation has found.

Some stores will be able to sell cheaper packs in the year up to the introduction of EUTPD2 in retail from May 2017. Others will immediately have to educate customers about more expensive, larger packs.

Wholesalers told Retail Express of their different strategies for how they intend to stock tobacco after May 20 this year, when suppliers can no longer manufacture branded packs, products under 20 sticks for cigarettes and under 30g for rolling tobacco.

Naeem Khaliq, Day-Today symbol group controller for United Wholesale Scotland, said the company has pre-booked stock based on historical sales data and has been
allocated enough smaller packs to see it through to the May 2017 deadline.

I would imagine any wholesaler not having smaller packs until the sell-through date to be at a disadvantage to the rest of the market

“I’d expect other wholesalers to be doing similar things to us and have adequate stocks of smaller packs to meet demand for them,” he said. “I would imagine any wholesaler not having smaller packs until the sell-through date to be at a disadvantage to the rest of the market.”

Dee Thaya, founder of Abra Wholesale in London, agreed. “I intend to stock smaller packs until the May 2017 date, if the suppliers have the availability,” he said.

“It simply becomes about who has the deepest pockets. It’s important for retailers to ensure they don’t have it by the day TPD2 is phased in as that could cost them money.”However, for many wholesalers, ordering in volume is not possible. Nick Ramsden, managing director for Today’s Group member Dee Bee in Grimsby, said
the company will stock smaller packs for as long as it can, but will not be buying in big volumes.

Philip Jenkins, managing director of Sugro, said: “I don’t see anybody going to
buy a massive amount of stock to prepare for TPD2.

“The investment in that is too large. We’ve not changed our buying habits and how much cash do you think a retailer has to do that?”

Are you considering bulk buying ahead of May? Tell us your tobacco strategy by commenting below or call us on 020 7689 3379. Get more information on dealing with tobacco in your store.