Cigarette display ban ‘could hit small firms’

The ban on displaying cigarettes in shops could hit small businesses as they account for 20 per cent of sales in convenience stores.

Recent government legislation means shops will no longer be able to display cigarettes or other tobacco products and will have to store them out of view, in an attempt to reduce the number of young people who smoke.

However, the cigarette trade is worth £12.7 billion a year and leads to many other purchases in stores from people who initially come in for the tobacco products, the Independent reports.

In addition, shops are predicting it will cost between £2,000 and £10,000 each to re-arrange stores and change the shop fittings.

Stephen Robertson, the director of the British Retail Consortium, says: ‘This will hit small stores, which lack the space and resources, particularly hard.’

He states he supports the ideas behind the move but says implementing it in this way will hit shop owner’s pockets and so ultimately affect consumers.

Ken Patel, the national spokesman for Responsible Retailers and a shop owner, tells the Independent smokers spend more money in his store than other customers and the initiative could lead to him going bust.

Before the recession it was estimated these moves would lead to 2,600 businesses going under.

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