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With the display ban just a few weeks away, many stores already have their gantries covered. This gantry I saw in a Spar forecourt store in Melksham (pictured below) had been fitted by Imperial Tobacco. But of course, not all stores are going to be supported by tobacco companies or suppliers, so what are they going to do?
I was talking this over with veteran retailer, Graham Hales, who had been suffering from a lack of passing trade due to a long-term traffic diversion outside his store. This meant that when a tobacco company rep was doing the survey for undertaking his gantry, his sales were not high enough to qualify for one.
While he waits for sales to pick up following the end of the traffic-diversion, Graham has decided to use a vertically split blind, and is hoping to see a tobacco rep later in the year about getting a cover from them.
In 2011, I undertook a review of my tobacco sales to understand which lines were most important to our business. We were stocking a range that reflected our customers' purchasing, but what was revealed was that our top selling line was vastly more valuable than the also-rans.
Using this information, I created my take on a "display ban range" solution. I could just use the bottom 2 or 3 shelves for products and the gantry shutter as the screen. Zero cost!
Retailers around the country are finding their own solutions. Peter Lamb has recently installed the Sinclair Collis solution. As he says, this solution not only deals with the display ban, but it also takes the cost of the tobacco category stock from his working capital needs.
The NFRN has partnered with Expotutto to offer an overhead gantry solution. Last October at betterRetailing LIVE, Expotutto demonstrated a coffee solution for the space freed up behind the counter display to replace the wall mounted tobacco gantry.
Navarra Retail Systems was also at betterRetailing LIVE. Its solution is a tobacco dispenser with stock hidden behind display space for unrestricted products. The dispensing units have the added bonus of having a much higher level of stock security than a standard gantry.
Whatever the solution that you choose for your store, you will need to have it in place by 6 April, when the regulation kicks in for all small stores. That also means that you will need to have your team fully trained to serve tobacco products in the new regulatory environment.
What is your solution for the display ban? Let us know in the comments section.
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