Analysis

The average selling price across the 12 rolling tobacco products in this week’s Price Checker table favoured higher margins. Eight of the products had an average price above RRP, with only Amber Leaf’s 50g, Pall Mall’s 30g and two Cutters Choice packs below. 

However, the trend across the six retailers in the table was different. Eleven out of 12 products had been priced at RRP by at least one retailer. Five had opted for RRP with Amber Leaf and Gold Leaf Quality Blend. 

Elsewhere in the Profit Checker graph, the most popular pricing options on Sterling were the £11.10 Booker RRP (20.9%) and £11 (16.2%). 

Profit checker

Price checker

ROLLING TOBACCO AVERAGE UK SELLING PRICE BOOKER RRP C STORE IN RESIDENTIAL SUBURB OF SOUTHHAMPTON C STORE IN SUBURBAN AREA OF BIRMINGHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD POST OFFICE AND SHOP IN BERKSHIRE TOWN HIGH STREET SHOP IN CENTRE OF SOUTH WALES COUNTRY TOWN NEWSAGENT AND POST OFFICE IN DEVON VILLAGE NEWSAGENT IN YORK CITY CENTRE
AMBER LEAF 30G £13.22 £13.00 £13.00 £13.00 £13.00 £13.30 £13.00 £13.00
GOLD LEAF QUALITY BLEND 30G £11.06 £10.90 £10.90 £10.90 £10.90 £11.30 £10.90 £10.90
GOLDEN VIRGINIA ORIGINAL 30G £13.58 £13.35 £13.35 £13.35 £13.43 £13.80 £13.35 £13.70
AMBER LEAF 50G £22.08 £22.12 £21.60 £21.75 £22.12 £21.60 £21.70
STERLING 30G £11.27 £11.10 £11.00 £11.15 £11.10 £11.40 £11.00 £11.10
CUTTERS CHOICE ORIGINAL 30G £13.01 £13.20 £13.00 £12.70 £12.70 £13.30 £13.00
GOLDEN VIRGINIA BRIGHT YELLOW 30G £13.07 £12.85 £12.95 £12.85 £12.85 £13.20 £12.85 £13.00
GOLDEN VIRGINIA ORIGINAL 50G £22.44 £22.20 £22.20 £22.20 £22.70 £22.20
CUTTERS CHOICE EXTRA SMOOTH 30G £10.93 £11.50 £11.50 £10.50 £11.30 £11.50 £11.50
GOLD LEAF 50G £18.18 £18.00 £18.00 £18.00 £18.00 £18.30 £18.00 £18.00
PALL MALL FINE CUT 30G £10.93 £11.00 £11.00 £10.50 £11.40 £11.00 £11.10
AMBER LEAF 3 IN1 CRUSH PROOF BOX 30G £13.48 £13.30 £13.20 £13.30 £13.30 £13.25
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How we drive our profit

Jack Matthews Avatar

Jack Matthews

Bradley’s Supermarkets

Location: Inkberrow

Size: Quorn

Type: suburban Top Tip Range is most important because having a limited selection of stock will make customers go elsewhere I buy my rolling tobacco from Nisa and tend to price above the RRP. This gives me average margins of 15%. It is a category which has been in decline over the past year, and we need to go for those extra margins to make it more profitable. Some of my most popular brands include Amber Leaf, Sterling and Cutters Choice. I try to increase the sales of the category by offering a wide range which appeals to different customers. Rolling tobacco is a broad area and there will be customers with different budgets as a result of this.

Mo Razzaq Avatar

Mo Razzaq

Family Shopper

Location: Blantyre

Size: 2,800sq ft

Type: neighbourhood Top Tip Availability is key, alongside chatting to your customers and finding out what they want I always aim for margins of at least 10% with my rolling tobacco range, which is purchased from Booker. My sales have increased recently, which is due to my decision to cut my range down by a third. Customers can be put off if there are too many products and I am thinking of cutting the range down by half over the next few months. You also have to keep on top of your stock levels at all times because customers will be put off if you don’t have any of their preferred brands available.

Dee Sedani Avatar

Dee Sedani

One Stop

Location: Matlock

Size: 2,000sq ft

Type: suburban Top Tip Stick to RRP because customers have an expectation of price and will go to the most affordable sho I always go for RRP with rolling tobacco. Despite the category being in decline overall, it is still a competitive area and I have competition from other shops in the area. I would risk losing customers if I charged a higher price than the surrounding stores. The key to improving my rolling tobacco sales is to deliver great customer service and get to know those who visit the store on a personal basis. Customers will talk about your store through word of mouth and more customers will end up visiting as a result.

Bimal Patel Avatar

Bimal Patel

Londis

Location: Harringey

Size: 2,000sq ft

Type: city outskirts Top Tip Always ensure you have availability of the fastest-selling lines because customers will keep coming back I always add 5p onto the RRP to maintain better margins. Yes, there is competition for tobacco from nearby convenience stores and supermarkets, but tobacco is a product customers are prepared to pay a bit extra for. I always keep the price reasonable, however, because customers can be put off if you add too much. Closed tobacco gantries have made it more difficult to sell tobacco, which is why I keep a price list in front of mine to make customers aware of what we are charging. Availability is also important and I ensure I am always stocked up.