Darkness descends

How was it for you when the tobacco shutters came down?

IT’S now a month since the tobacco display ban came into force, and for c-store retailers across Scotland, the change has been easier for some than others.

At the Day-Today store in Cathkin near Glasgow manager Syed Haider said the change had gone smoothly in most ways.

Cathkin Day -Today dark gantry
Scotland’s small stores joined the country’s supermarkets and were required to cover tobacco and related items last month.

JTI had fitted the new equipment three months before the deadline. The shop is still carrying price-marked stock because management thinks customers prefer PMPs.

“But it does take a lot more time to fill the gantry,” he said.

At Bellshill Post Office, owner Andy Hakeem said keeping the gantry stocked had been his biggest challenge, as it was hard to know when lines were running low, but that tobacco sales hadn’t been affected.

Richard Garrie, manager of the Spar forecourt in Galashiels, said he had been monitoring sales since 6 April and had seen “no decline whatsoever”, with staff adapting well to the change.

However, at Day-Today in Petersburn in Airdrie manger Lynn Johnstone said the ban had been a bit of a nightmare.

The store’s gantry had been changed quite close to the deadline and she found that the covers made it especially difficult to use the top-most and bottom-most shelves.  And filling times, she said, were very much longer.

Jagtar Lalli, of Day-Today in Saltcoats, said it had been “murder” since the flaps came down, with a noticeable increase in shoplifting from the counter.

He said: “It used to be that you knew where something was on the gantry and you didn’t even need to look at it, you just grabbed it. Now you’ve actually physically got to turn your back  and that gives people the opportunity to steal from you.”

Though he is in a contract to keep the gantry for five years, he said he is now looking to put a separate unit under the counter. He added: “We need it for our own safety.”

l ow have you found the change? Call John McNee on 0141 567 6032 or Patrick Duffy on 0141 567 6074.