600% Signature growth and rising!

Dan Brown

Musselburgh retailer Dan Brown, our reigning Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, has grown his sales of Signature Dual by more than 600% in the last couple of months, and sales are still rising.

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as seeing your efforts rewarded in the till, and that’s something Musselburgh Nisa retailer Dan Brown has found over the last couple of the months as part of an in-store project with SLR and Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG).

The project centred around the increasingly popular Signature Dual leaf-wrapped cigarillos, recently renamed and rebranded as Signature Action. After more than two months of effort focusing on the product, Dan and his team have succeeded in growing sales by a whopping 600% –and sales are still rising.

“It’s been a pretty successful initiative, I have to admit,” says Dan, the youngest-ever President of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation. “First and foremost I have to say thank you to my team who have been incredibly helpful and supportive in our drive to focus on Signature Dual, or Signature Action as it’s now called. I remember being pleasantly surprised that we had seen 500% growth in the first month of the project, so to see that figure keep growing to 600% is fantastic. And we’re still seeing that growth continue.”

Dan points out that, yes, the growth was from a relatively small base, but a 600% increase in sales is pretty remarkable for any product in any category let alone a category facing so many practical in-store challenges. The store has gone from selling around one outer a week to selling at least six a week, which is impressive growth.

The success proves once more that a little focus and attention dedicated to the product and the wider cigars category will deliver for retailers.

“I’m actually surprised that we’ve had such big success because, at the end of the day, the legislation around the category means we don’t have a lot of tools at our disposal to drive sales, but it just goes to show what can be achieved, even with so many challenges,” says Dan.

The secret to Dan’s success? “There’s no doubt that making Signature Action the cheapest product on the gantry was a major factor,” says Dan. “We had to make a very small tweak to the pricing, and we trained staff to upsell at the till point. Whenever anyone mentioned price, we were able to suggest Signature Action as the lowest-priced product we stock.

“We also gave the staff a briefing on the product itself so that they could talk knowledgeably, should customers want any more information – and many did.

“But the fact that sales have grown consistently means that the product is delivering for shoppers. Repeat purchases mean shoppers like the product and it’s repeat purchases we’re looking for.”

Signature Action features a peppermint capsule and comes in a convenient and stylish pack of 10 that isn’t covered by EUTPD2, so the product is still in branded packs.

“Most of the new sales are coming from people looking to minimise out of pocket spend or looking for a menthol option, now that they can’t buy menthol cigarettes,” concludes Dan.

STG’s UK Country Director, Alastair Williams, says: “600% growth is an outstanding achievement by any standard. Dan and his team have clearly done a fantastic job and demonstrated that this is an outstanding product that will sell in volume when retailers get behind it.”

How did Dan manage it?

Dan’s top tips for growing sales of Signature Dual are:

  • Make it the cheapest product on the gantry, to appeal to shoppers looking to minimise out-of-pocket-spend.
  • Encourage staff to upsell at the till point, highlighting Signature Dual when a customer mentions price.
  • Train staff on the features of the product so that they can talk knowledgably and answer any questions from customers.
  • Maintain good stock levels.

Signature Action: new name, same product

Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK transitioned its Signature Dual brand to Signature Action at the start of this year, in order to maintain consistency within its global brand portfolio.

STG’s UK Country Director, Alastair Williams, comments: “Sales of our newly re-named Signature Action brand have been growing steadily since launch, and we will be continuing to build on this momentum throughout 2021, not least through our field sales force who will be calling on as many independent retailers as possible to talk to them about it.

“We are keen to stress that only the name of the product is changing and the cigar itself will remain the same. It still offers adult smokers the same smooth and enjoyable smoking experience and will continue to play an important role in our market leading Signature brand portfolio.”