The implementation of EUTPD2 means retailers must think long and hard about how to maintain tobacco sales against the backdrop of an increasingly regulated environment. SLR speaks to the major players to find out what they have planned going forward as the clock continues to tick down.
by Émer O’Toole
As the EUTPD2 deadline of May 2017 draws nearer for retailers, the major manufacturers continue to jostle for position before the new legislation kicks in with frequent brand extensions, limited editions and innovation, all of which continues to keep the category lively and interesting for both retailers and customers.
Regardless of the impending legislative changes, however, it’s just as important as ever that retailers don’t lose sight of the category management fundamentals: ranging and availability. The best way to keep accessories front of mind is to offer a proven, core range to customers, supported by well-established brands and products, as well as stocking NPD that reflects recent market trends. This will not only help to drive profits, but will also help retailers to differentiate from their competitors and bring in repeat consumer traffic.
In addition to filters and papers, there is also an active demand for matches and lighters, with this segment of the UK accessories market worth £89m in total value sales, according to IRI market research. Republic Technologies supplies lighters and matches under its Cricket, Poppell, Scottish Bluebell, Vulcan, Cooks and Bryant & May brands.
“The value, choice and quality offered by our brands allow retailers to cater to a broad spectrum of shopper needs, and in turn benefit from increased sales and profits. We pride ourselves on working closely with retail and wholesale partners, helping them to drive the category forward in store,” says Gavin Anderson, General Sales Manager for Republic Technologies (UK).
New research from Palmer and Harvey shows that a third of retailers still have not heard of the EUTPD, so educating yourself before the deadline will be crucial to stay on top of tobacco sales.