I was in Sainsburys at Warwick recently and spotted their tobacco gantry partly open. I took a photograph and tweeted it including @sainsburys in the text and got a reply from their social media team 12 minutes later. They said “Sorry about this, I’ll let them know so they can fix the shutter. Thanks for letting us know.” their tweet was signed Susanna.

gantryOne of the responses about my tweet was from @Minkey55 who asked “Please can you remove the last photo. Not as it was taken unlawfully in store, but my friend doesn’t want her photo online.” Of course I deleted my tweet, edited to photo to remove the assistant identity and reposted.

On 6th April 2015 Small Store tobacco retailers in England will fall under the provisions of The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display)(England) Regulations 2010  (the other countries in the UK have there own regulations). With just 14 months until the display ban effects every tobacco retailer it’s time to start planning how you will implement the changes your store will need if you haven’t already.

Key points:

A “Requested Display” allows 0.75 square metres to be opened. How will your display/gantry be shuttered? If you have a tobacco company owned gantry will they be providing you with an upgrade. You need to ask you rep, if you haven’t already.

Non-compliance with the law is a criminal offence. Any person, including shop managers and shop assistants, found guilty of these offences is liable to a fine, imprisonment or both.

Setting store policy and training employees will be at the centre of managing the tobacco category when the regulation comes in to force.

We will return to this important topic again later this year.