BAT unveils sustainable gantry

BAT shows off its new hi-tech gantry solution

Customer examines the alternative nicotine range provided by British American Tobacco in the firm's new sustainable gantry.
Retailers had the chance to see the new gantry during a visit to the Glasgow store.

BRITISH American Tobacco (BAT) has been working to keep its customers up to date with the latest gantry tech.

Highlighting its new sustainable gantry solution, BAT took a small group of retailers to tour a pilot store for the new gantry in Glasgow, aiming to support its customers to ensure their businesses are up to date.

Available to My BAT Rewards customers at no additional cost now, the new gantry includes several features to help retailers display products and promotions more clearly for customers, falling within Scottish legislation.

The first of the gantries have been rolling out since June, with a dedicated BAT team throughout the UK helping to install the new displays. BAT has also said the team has been working to best fit retailers in this regard, working outside of business hours to minimise disruption.

Afzal Rahman, B2B manager at BAT UK, said; “The alternative nicotine category is evolving very quickly and it’s hard to determine where it will lead to next.

“We want to work with independent retailers to create an ideal solution to help them navigate the category and be successful in it, too.”

The new gantry tech includes new products and displays for retailers to make the most of, according to BAT, with three media screens installed above the gantry to help retailers to market products such as BAT’s Vuse vaping products and Velo nicotine pouches.

The screens can be tailored to suit any promotion, BAT said, helping to keep nicotine customers informed even before they reach the till area as well.

The new sustainable gantry solution from British American Tobacco.
The new sustainable gantry solution from British American Tobacco.

Further to this, the new gantry also boasts some considerable sustainability credentials. It has been made using 100% recycled plastic and a selection of wood and metal that helps make it lighter than previous models.

All the materials used to create the gantry were sourced within 50km of the Barcelona factory creating the new gantries. BAT also made use of LED lighting as well.

The new gantry also features a Wi-Fi linked smart plug that will allow retailers to monitor its energy consumption, helping to keep an eye of the costs of running the display during a challenging financial time.

In addition to the above, BAT highlighted that the new gantry offers push mechanisms, adjustable shelf height and has a central lock system to help keep the tobacco products secure in retailers’ stores.

Hashim Tahir, B2B executive at BAT UK, said: “With the exceptional growth of vapes in the past few years, BAT UK noticed a gap in the market.

“And we realised retailers aren’t equipped to merchandise and range the category correctly to drive sales and attract adult nicotine consumers to the category. 

“We want to help retailers update their tobacco gantries, which can be seen as outdated as retailers transition to drawers underneath the till area.

“The gantry we have built offers a multi-category solution where retailers are able to display vapes and alternative nicotine products together, while saving space for tobacco.”

Aiming to highlight this new hi-tech option for retailers, BAT invited seven UK retailers to the see the new display at the gantry’s pilot convenience store in Glasgow.

The retailers were accompanied by members from BAT to visit a Day-Today store in the city owned by Irfan Ahmad, who became the first retailer in the UK to offer the new gantry solution, which BAT said he chose to do after seeing its modern design and focus on alternative nicotine products.

Ahmad said: “Other companies we reached out to could only offer the traditional tobacco gantry and they hadn’t moved with the market.

“BAT’s new gantry is offering something new by focusing on alternative nicotine products.

“Working with BAT UK has been great, they worked with me every step of the way, helping me to understand the alternative nicotine products category, as well as ensuring we offered the right products.

“BAT UK really listened to me about what I needed in my store to drive sales.”

In addition to the store tour in Glasgow, six of the seven retailers also had the chance to join BAT UK to visit the Zedis factory in Barcelona to see how the new gantry is made in person.

Store owners were invited to see the new gantry in action at its pilot store in Glasgow as well as a tour of the factory where it is made in Barcelona.

Vince Malone, retailer at Tenby Stores and Post Office in Pembrokeshire, said: “It’s clear that BAT UK are great at what they do and the visits have been fantastic.

“From a customer’s point of view, the gantry is really eye-catching. It will capture their attention as soon as they walk in store and, while they might not purchase something straight away, it brings those products to the forefront of their mind.”

Sunita Aggarwal, of Spar Hackenthrope in Sheffield, also added to the high praise of BAT’s new gantry.

Aggarwal said: “Going on the tour, it was amazing to see how they put everything together. We also liked how they source all their materials locally. It’s nice to be part of the journey, listened to and have our ideas taken on board.”

For retailers interested in the new gantry solution, BAT has said they can contact to find out more about the new solutions and to potentially see if the new tech could be the perfect fit for their store.