Tobacco firm says reps and its online advice service are more important than ever since the shutters came down
For tobacco firm JTI, brand owner of Amber Leaf, Mayfair and Hamlet, the coming of the tobacco display ban has stressed the importance to its retailer customers of the company’s sales force.
JTI head of communications Jeremy Blackburn said the firm has invested heavily in development of its reps.
The display ban makes it still more relevant, JTI argues, that its sales force provides comprehensive category advice to customers framed in its
programme of key category optimisation principles that it calls ARTIST – Availability, Range, Training, Innovation, Sales, and Technology. Under those headings reps give advice on regular stock checks, what JTI sees as the important relationship between ranging and use of PMPs and consumer satisfaction, new product development, product innovation, and more. Reps can also give advice on compliance in the increasingly complicated world of tobacco regulation.
Dovetailing with the reps’ service is JTI Advance the company’s comprehensive online advice and support service for tobacco retailers. With the display ban in mind it includes a downloadable retail display ban guidance booklet covering the ARTIST principles and advising on displaying and selling, stock levels and restocking, and the importance of availability. It’s available, for tobacco retailers only, on www.jtiadvance.co.uk
JTI sees the current tobacco market as continuing to be driven by a number of key trends. Value is the leading ready-made-cigarettes segment, with 52.1% volume share. JTI holds just under 20% volume share of the value segment of RMC in Scotland.
It says its Mayfair brand is the biggest seller overall north of the border with 12.6% of total RMC sales. And Silk Cut and B&H take substantial shares of their segments.
In roll-your-own tobacco JTI’s portfolio takes almost 44% of category sales in Scotland with its Amber Leaf house accounting for more than 35% of the market.
On cigars, where JTI has the Hamlet range, the firm argues it’s important to stock a full range including a wide choice of brands and formats, especially miniatures, a sub-category in growth, and to realise that cigars provide retailers with good profit on return.