It’s widely accepted in the industry that the arrival of plain packaging and EUTPD II will lead some retailers to stop selling tobacco and far more to delist all but the bestsellers.

Retailers who maintain their ranges, therefore, can become the destination for fiercely loyal customers who will travel to get their favourite product.

Jeremy BlackburnJeremy Blackburn, head of communications, JTI

Retailers should maintain a good selection of brands across all price segments, including premium. Tobacco shoppers can be worth £2,000 a year and our research shows shoppers buy elsewhere if their brand is unavailable. Maintaining availability at all times is therefore vital to ensure that retailers become a destination store of choice for smokers.

Nainesh ShahNainesh Shah, Mayhew News, Belgravia

Customers are already travelling from Kent and Surrey for premium brands like Vogue Slims, San Morris and Omé. Stores are already delisting products – our cigar sales went back up after Waitrose cut their range. We now have one customer who comes in for 100 £5 cigars every week.

Regulation reminder

Ahead of the end of the 12-month sell-through period in May, here’s a reminder of the changes coming to the tobacco market:

Cigarettes: 10-packs will no longer be available, alongside 17, 18 and 19-packs. No branding will be permitted on the remaining 20-pack formats.

Rolling tobacco: As with cigarettes, no branding will be allowed. The minimum pouch size will be 30g, meaning an end to 8g packs and the best-selling 12.5g format.

Cigars/cigarillos: Though not subject to minimum size restrictions as with cigarettes, 65% of the front must also carry a warning. The remaining 35% can be used for branding.