From Retail Newsagent
by Ed Chadwick

RN survey reveals cost for converting gantries.
One in five retailers still to make plans

Indies face £13.8m display ban costs to go it alone

Retailers who have parted ways with major manufacturers expect to shell out a collective £13.8m to make themselves compliant with the display ban next year, according to an RN survey. The sum is an estimate based on the 12,000 retailers who are entering the dark market alone because they have had existing gantries signed over to them or want the freedom to decide on range and display. While some will opt for low or zero-cost options ineluding moving tobacco to the stock room or under the counter, others told us they were planning to invest in the category before April. But more than one in five retailers surveyed (22.6%) said they had yet to make a decision on how they would convert their gantries. Our study found that 16.6% of retailers will opt for the most expensive initial outlay – overhead gantries costing about £1,600 which are being provided by com-panies like Expotutto. The most popular choice is sliding doors, with 39.5%
saying they had decided to opt for the solution and can expect to pay upwards of £400 for doors to be fitted. And 10% of retailers said they expected to opt for a vending solution. Charges of up to £25 per week would mean retailers will shell out as much as £6,500 over five years. Trade bodies including the NFRN have urged retailers not to leave it late before making arrangements. NFRN Commercial direc-tor Graeme Collins said: “Small shopkeepers cannot afford to keep their
heads in the sand. “The countdown to the display ban is well underway and it’s time for retailers to act, as failing to comply will lead to prosecution and some severe penalties.” Expotutto director Luigi Spina added: “At the moment, we can manage orders very quickly, but our waiting list is continu-ing to grow.”