Retailers in danger of getting stuck with branded cigs

Cigarettes in plain packaging

With only three days left before the May 20 deadline to sell through non-compliant, branded Factory Made Cigarettes and Roll Your Own Tobacco products, it looks like many retailers are going to left with significant amounts of leftover branded stock.

UK-wide sales data from nearly 2,500 c-stores gathered by EPoS supplier The Retail Data Partnership shows that, for the first week of May:

  • Of the 830,000+ Factory Made Cigarette packs, 27.97% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs
  • Of the 127,000+ Roll Your Own Tobacco pouches, 11.93% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs
  • Only 3.95% of retailers exclusively sold compliant, non-branded packs.

Previous data from the week commencing March 27 suggested that branded packs of Tobacco were still selling at levels of up to 45%.

While the data clearly shows a reduction in sales of branded products, it also looks like the rate isn’t falling fast enough. A very rough extrapolation of the numbers predicts that the amount of non-compliant Tobacco products being sold will be sitting between 15% and 20% just before the May 20 deadline.

After this date, sales of these products will be prohibited and enforced by Trading Standards.