Italian job to beat display ban

Members were urged to begin thinking about options for their cigarettes gantries in advance of the display ban in smaller stores from next April. The call came from Graeme Collins before a presentation by Luigi Spina from Italian company Expotutto, which has installed one of its Servertab units in the Staffordshire store of North West district member Steve Archer. The overhead units hide the cigarettes from view of the customer but remain visible for retailers. Mr Spina said: “This is about a safe transition to the dark market and an increase in sales. “Council was told by Mr Archer, who installed the unit as part of a trial with wholesaler Booker. Steve Archer said the gantry had been replaced by shelves for spirits and medicines and toiletries had been given more prominent display. “It’s a 400sq ft shop and we’ve managed to increase turnover by £1,000, giving an extra £250 profit,” he said. “The customers seem to like it and it hasn’t affected cigarette sales at all. “Answering questions from delegates, Mr Spina outlined a security cover option and said that trading standard officials in Leicestershire had confirmed the unit was compliant with display ban requirements. He said Italian retailers placed stickers on the rear of the unit to allow them to identify stock and prices easily. The units are likely to cost between £1,500 and £1,600 for manufacture, shipping and installation, but Mr. Collins said negotiations were ongoing about a rate for NFRN members.