Retailers expect tobacco rules to impact negatively

Cigarettes in plain packaging

New research commissioned by Palmer & Harvey shows that local retailers have major concerns about the impact the new tobacco rules will have on their business and customers over time.

According to the research, most retailers fear the switch to plain packaging, and other changes, will mean higher costs, lower revenues and more illicit tobacco. Also, retailers expect the changes to increase demand for e-cigarettes and vaping. Sixty per cent of those surveyed believed the rule changes came as a surprise to shoppers.

The survey was carried out among more than 130 retailers at Palmer & Harvey’s annual Pro Retail event for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers.

Martyn Ward, Managing Director of Palmer & Harvey, said: “The new tobacco laws are a significant change for the convenience retail industry.

“Store owners expect them to add complexity and cost to their business. There is also the prospect of more illicit trade in tobacco products and smaller stores struggling to stay afloat, threatening a vital social and economic hub for local communities.”