Tobacco display ban: no display can pay for independents

By Sara Spary

Expottuto is an Italian company that manufactures a gantry solution called Servertab – an overhead unit that replaces the retailer’s existing gantry. Servertab is available with a digital screen for in-store advertising of non-tobacco brands and in-store deals. Another benefit of the model is that it allows retailers to grow sales as it frees up space for higher-margin items, says director Luigi Spina.

“The salesperson has access to a large stock stored in a minimal amount of overhead space, at least three times more than an ordinary tobacco gantry, and the system’s design discourages shoplifting and enhances store security” he adds.

Servertab costs £1,500 to £1,600 for the basic gantry and a further £200 to £300 if retailers retailers want the 38in digital screen, but Spina says retailers can opt to pay a monthly fee of around £50 over a three-year period. He adds that they will see a tangible ROI in around eight weeks.

Sales uplift
Premier retailer Steve Archer is certainly a convert. He volunteered to go dark early, installing the Servertab gantry at his 400 sq ft Biddulph store in Staffordshire in January as part of a trial for Booker.

When the new unit was installed, Archer shifted alcohol and medicine towards the front of the store, a tactic that paid off in spades – or more accurately, alcohol and snack sales, he says. “Regaining the extra space was fantastic because it’s small and we’ve seen no decrease in tobacco at all. We’ve seen a significant uplift in alcohol straight away – a 23% uplift on the previous year. Snack sales have also gone up, by 50%, because they were previously at floor level. Booker 2-for-£1 crisps are also flying” says Archer.