With less than three months until tobacco gantries have to go dark, I want to stress how important it is that convenience retailers and newsagents make sure they are prepared for April 6.

I made contact with JTI towards the end of last year to find out whether I would receive any assistance. I’ve got a good local rep and I speak to her regularly.

We sat down at the end of November and she remerchandised the whole of the gantry. I’ve now made all of my arrangements, including having hinges fitted to all my doors.

Have you been in touch with your tobacco rep to find out whether they’re going to help you? 

This is the very last opportunity to get yourself organised. You need to make contact with the gantry supplier and make sure you’re going to be OK.

From speaking to other retailers I know, lots of them don’t realise that JTI and other tobacco suppliers aren’t going to fit doors to everybody’s gantry. There are thousands of selected retailers that are getting help but, when you consider how many retailers there are, a lot will be on their own.

Thousands of retailers are going to fall short. It’s easy to go with the flow and not think about it but, before they know it, it’ll be upon them and they won’t be ready.

It’s down to retailers to be responsible. You can’t just sit back and wait.

Retailers have to fund those doors to be put on and it’s their responsibility to make sure they’re done in time for the deadline.

Now is the time to make sure you’ve made the right contact to find out if your gantry is going to be OK. Don’t fall short when the ban comes in.

What steps have you made regarding the April 6 display ban? Let us know in the comments section.