Pinkie Farm sees 500% Signature growth in a month!

Dan Brown

Musselburgh retailer Dan Brown, the new Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, has seen sales of Signature Dual grow by 500% in the first month of a project with Scandinavian Tobacco Group and SLR.


Last month saw the launch in SLR of the new project with multi-award winning Musselburgh Nisa retailer Dan Brown and Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG) focusing on growing sales of the increasingly popular Signature Dual leaf-wrapped cigarillos. Well, it’s been a busy month for Dan as, not only was he named the Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, he also succeeded in growing sales of Signature Dual an incredible 500%!

“December was a bit of a crazy month, as you can imagine,” comments Dan, who also finds time to be the youngest ever President of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation. “December is always busy with Christmas but then I was blown away to be named the Scottish Local Retailer of the Year, just a year after being named the SLR Young Retailer of the Year. It was a great boost for me and my team at the store.

“But we still had to focus on the day job and part of that involved our project with STG to see if we could drive some growth in sales of Signature Dual. As always, the team did a fantastic job but I have to admit I was quite surprised to learn that after just a month we’d seen sales grow by 500%!”

Granted, the growth was from a small base, but 500% growth is an achievement by any standard – and clear proof that even just a little focus and attention dedicated to the product and the wider cigars category will deliver for retailers.

“Before the project we were only selling around one outer a week of Signature Dual, largely because it’s very hard to communicate with customers about new products,” says Dan. “But we’re up to over five outers a week now and that’s pretty impressive growth.”

So how did Dan and his team make such an immediate impact?

“To be honest, the impact wasn’t exactly immediate,” explains Dan. “It took about a week before the message started to land with customers but after that the sales just started spiking. We made Signature Dual the cheapest product on the gantry, which only required 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 Dual 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.”

Signature Dual features a peppermint capsule and comes in a convenient and stylish pack of 10. Dan believes that the key features of the product are the menthol capsule and the price point. “The price point and the fact that the product is menthol are really important opportunities for us as retailers, as well as the fact that, being cigarillos and therefore not covered by EUTPD2, the product doesn’t have to be in unbranded packs so they look great,” he says.

“I’d say 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,” he comments.

STG’s UK Country Director, Alastair Williams, says: “It’s fantastic news that Dan has seen such big growth in sales of Signature Dual inside just a few weeks, and it reaffirms our belief that this is a fantastic product. Hopefully he will continue to sales grow throughout January and beyond.”

See next month’s SLR for the final instalment of this series and to see the project’s final results.

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.