Analysis

Tobacco accessories are a powerful margin driver for convenience retailers, with margins upwards of 30% when sold at RRP. 

The good news for independents is you can offer these lines at RRP and still be competitive with the multiples, with many lines priced within 10p of the supermarkets. 

However, where you can beat the grocers is with your range. The multiples tend to focus on multipacks, offer own label or simply a tight range, particularly with branded lighters and tobacco papers. If consumers want the choice of regular or kingsize papers, the chances are they will need to visit you to get it. 

By offering a strong range of tobacco accessories, you can make your store a destination for smokers. These lines are not covered by the same legislation that puts tobacco in plain packs or behind closed doors. So, outside of Scotland, you can stock them on your counter and remind consumers they need to top up. 

Profit checker

Price checker

ProductAverageBooker RRPLOCAL C STORE IN OUTER SUBURB OF ABERDEENLARGE POST OFFICE AND C STORE IN S.E. LONDON SUBURBAN HIGH STREETHIGH STREET OFF LICENCE HERTFORDSHIRE COMMUTER TOWNC STORE IN RESIDENTIAL AREA OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNTRY TOWNLOCAL STORE IN STUDENT AREA OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE TOWNPETROL FORECOUER SHOP IN SOUTH WALES VILLAGE
SWAN EXTRA SLIM FILTER TIPS 120S£1.02£1.07£1.10£0.99£1.00£1.00£0.99£1.00
RIZLA GREEN REGULAR 50£0.37£0.27£0.40£0.40£0.45£0.40
SWAN MENTHOL EXTRA SLIM TIPS 120S£1.06£1.07£1.20£1.00£1.10£1.00£1.10£1.01
CLIPPER SILVER FLINT TOP LIGHTER£1.41£1.79£1.69£1.00£1.35£1.25£1.20
RIZLA KINGSIZE SLIM SILVER 50£0.98£0.82£1.00£1.00£99.00£0.99£0.99
SWAN SLIMLINE FILTER TIPS 165£0.97£0.90£1.10£0.99£1.10£1.00£0.99£0.90
RIZLA SILVER KINGSIZE SLIM 32£0.94£0.82£1.00£1.00£0.99
RIZLA GREEN REGULAR 50 MULTIPACK£1.41£1.35£1.45£1.35£1.49£1.35£1.79
RIZLA BLUE KINGSIZE SLIM 50S£0.97£0.77£1.00£1.00£0.99£0.99£0.99
SWAN SLIM FILTER TIPS 120£1.01£1.01£1.10£0.99£1.00£1.00£0.99£0.99
RIZLA RED REGULAR 50£0.39£0.27£0.40£0.45£0.40£0.40
ZIG ZAG GREEN REGULAR 50£0.31£0.25£0.35£0.25£0.40
Data supplied by

EDFM is a specialist in helping leading suppliers to the UK’s independent convenience channel get value, insights and business benefits from EPoS data. To find out how they could help you call 07976 295094

Supermarkets 

Drive your profits

David Woodrow Avatar

David Woodrow

Woodrow’s Newsagent

Location: Bishopton, Renfrewshire

Size: 1,000sq ft

Type: village Top Tip Availability is key. As soon as a box of Rizla or filters nears empty, order another As a Scottish retailer, we are not allowed any tobacco accessories on show. Instead, they sit behind our gantry. There’s nothing we can do to promote sales, but sales are normally steady nonetheless. For example, we sell between 30 or 40 single packs of Rizla papers every month. Any increase is usually down to a batch of illegal tobacco floating around. In March and April this year, sales went up to 45 packs per month. It’s a range over which we have little actual control, and the best thing we can do is maintain availability.

Carl Pickering Avatar

Carl Pickering

Top Shop Newsagents

Location: Preston, Lancashire

Size: 750sq ft

Type: main road Top Tip Keep availability high as well as choice; stock a range of rolling-paper varieties such as liquorice flavour We situate all our papers and filters behind the counter and next to the cigarette gantry so they are in full view of the customer. We don’t have to do any real promotion around these as they tend to be steady sellers. We sell around 50 packs of single Rizla papers, for example, every month. It’s a category worth stocking for independent retailers, though, as margins on papers are around 40%, which is far better than those for tobacco itself. I go above the RRP by around 10%, and it’s mainly regulars who buy from me.

Vince Malone Avatar

Vince Malone

Tenby Post Office

Location: Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Size: 920sq ft

Type: town Top Tip For retailers outside of Scotland, if your tobacco is under the counter, put accessories in the customers’ eyeline We probably don’t make the most of our tobacco accessories, but we keep them in the customers’ eyeline behind the counter beside our e-liquids. As our tobacco sits under the counter, it’s a good visual prompt for people who might not know we stock tobacco. I tend to round up on price. For example, a pack of Rizla is 29p, and I charge 30p. It’s a lot easier for me and the customer. These are steady sellers for us and, as we didn’t sell tobacco previously, it’s becoming gradually known that we stock papers and filters.

Ferhan Ashiq Avatar

Ferhan Ashiq

Levenhall Village Store

Location: Musselburgh

Size: 568sq ft

Type: residential Top Tip Know your customer base and stock the brands they want, and price competitively Because I cannot legally display papers or filters, I make sure I do everything that I possibly can in order to keep sales steady. This includes staying competitive on price – I don’t go above the RRP. Also, I make sure I stock the brands I know people want. Rizla has always done well for us over the years, but the Raw brand has also proved very popular, whereas other products have failed completely. My customers know exactly what they want, so listening to them is very important in order to maximise profits on tobacco accessories.