• Cigarettes and tobacco purchase is one of the top reasons to visit a c-store
• Many smokers buy their cigarettes, cigars and tobacco in stores that are close to their home
• Tobacco purchasers often buy other products while in store
• The tobacco display ban in supermarkets gives most c-stores a two-year window of opportunity
• Smokers migrating from supermarkets present an opportunity to win new regulars
• Availability and local and regional brand awareness are key to tobacco success
TOBACCO is a hugely important category for convenience stores.
It accounts for a considerable proportion of sales, and of total cash takings, in very many outlets. But that isn’t what makes tobacco an established c-store essential. Given the level of tax that’s levied on the products, by the time the manufacturers take their cut there isn’t a whole lot left over for the retailer.
Instead it’s tobacco’s position as a product which attracts consumers on a very regular basis that makes it a c-store essential.
And that’s likely to be especially true in the next couple of years. Until 6 April 2015 small stores who are registered tobacco traders can continue to display cigarettes and other smoking and smoking-related products while large stores have to hide them away.
It could just be that smokers who become irritated by uncertainty over range, delays in service and other problems in the supermarkets will head for their local c-store.
Tobacco firms say now more than ever availability is the number-one merchandising issue for tobacco outlets.
C-stores retailers who want to achieve maximum tobacco sales should ensure the gantry is well-stocked and well-organised. Top-selling brands should be given appropriate facings, gantries should be re-stocked ahead of busy periods, and new products should also be highlighted.