High value, lower percentage margin but good cash margins (e.g.
30p per packet of premium cigarettes), and people want this product and are prepared to
pay for it.
- More than 7 million packets of cigarettes are smoked every day.
- Nearly 13 million adult Britons smoke – that is nearly a third of everyone over the age of 16.
- Tobacco outsells confectionery, soft drinks and newspapers combined.
The £5.8bn market is mostly made up of just three manufacturers and most ambient wholesalers will cover all the lines you need. The manufacturers also have field sales teams who will be happy to help with the correct range selection for your region and will possibly provide you with a gantry. You can't skimp on the lines and if ever you are asked for a brand you don't stock, look into it straight away and tell the customer you will. Smokers are apparently so loyal that many will go elsewhere for everything if you let them. Note the top ten brands below. You really should not EVER be without them.
Government regulation as enforced by trading standards makes this category a bit of a head ache, but you can't really afford to send smokers with cash in their pocket off to the competition. Last years changes, including the rise in minimum age for sales has mostly bedded down, but there is of course more regulation on it's way.
The impending display ban, all all its worries, is still a couple of years away. After several months in place in Eire, there is no real indication of the effect it is having on the trade let alone the younger potential smoker. The only thing certain is that it has caused confusion. With luck a future government will learn from the Republic of Ireland and amend or remove legislation accordingly.
While we still can, we may as well note the top ten brands in 2009:
- Lambert & Butler King Size
- Mayfair King Size
- Marlboro Gold King Size
- Richmond King Size
- Benson & Hedges Gold King Size
- Richmond Superkings
- Benson & Hedges Silver King Size
- Mayfair Smooth King Size
- Royals Red King Size
- Silk Cut Purple King Size