tobacco, displaySo now we know that the Coalition Government could not find a satisfactory way to overturn the tobacco display ban that was passed in to law within the Health Act 2010. The recent announcement is very disappointing, but there are two significant concessions within the Tobacco Control document. These are the delay of the implementation of the law until 2015 and the doubling of the space allowed for an on request display by a customer.

So how will this affect us? As Michael Laydon posted here about the increased period of grace between the display ban’s implementation at stores over 3,000 square feet will assist small stores in retaining market share in a changing environment.

But what next? The second concession that the display area would be allowed to be opened at a customer’s request and be doubled from the original 0.75 square metres to 1.5 square metres. This would seem to allow our current display gantry to continue to be satisfactory into the era of the display ban. We have a 1.1 metre unit with a lockable roll down shutter and the 1.5 square metre display that will be allowed means that we can have six shelves on display at a customer’s request. Using the roll down shutter to cover the cigarettes and tobacco during all other times seems to me to be a cost free solution to the challenge of meeting the requirements of this legislation.

Here are two photographs showing our solution! Clearly retailers with wider displays will be more challenged and it would be interesting to hear of anyone’s innovative solutions to this problem.

PS Our rolled down shutter will offer a blank area in view of customers at our counter that will offer an opportunity to promote other aspects of our business, but will the government (or the tobacco companies) allow this to happen?