Trade bodies launch guide and app as small stores enter final two years of tobacco display
SCOTLAND’S retail industry has begun its journey into the tobacco dark ages after large stores had to pull down the shutters on tobacco products late last month.
It means small stores, those with a selling area under 280 square metres, have a period until 6 April 2015 when they will be able to display tobacco goods while their larger competitors cannot.
However, once that period comes to an end the smaller stores will also be required to hide tobacco products from public view except when making a sale, discussing products with an adult interested in purchasing, or carrying out a defined list of practical tasks including stocktaking, restocking and cleaning.
But even then stores in Scotland will only be allowed to reveal a maximum of 1000 sq centimetres of the gantry during any single temporary or incidental display.
The restriction on the space allowed to be revealed is much more severe than south of the border where it is permitted to reveal up to 1.5 square metres.
That means that while staff in England can effectively open a sliding door on the gantry during a sale their equivalents in Scotland will most likely have to negotiate a system of flaps – each of which will be the size of around 10 packs of cigarettes.
Trade bodies the Scottish Grocers’ Federation and the Scottish Wholesale Association have issued a guide to the new rules for retailers and wholesalers.
Called the Fingertip Guide to the New Tobacco Display Laws it has been published by the groups in partnership with tobacco companies JTI, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco. It will also be available via an iPhone/iPad app.
“Most retailers are highly responsible and will welcome the information included in the guide as they strive to come to terms with the new legislation and train their staff accordingly,” said SGF chief executive John Drummond.
Kate Salmon, executive director of the SWA, said: “Our industry must accept this new legislation and work in partnership to make the transition as seamless as possible for Scotland’s independent retailers and wholesalers.”
The Fingertip Guide to the New Tobacco Display Laws was compiled by Scott Brady, the SWA’s independent adviser and lobbyist.