Retailer impressed by European-style solution
“I don’t think ban will hit sales”

Trial run for shelving units
as darkest hour approaches

by Ed Chadwick
A Staffordshire c-store has become among the first in the country to convert to a dark gantry as it trials a solution to the display ban. Steve Archer said he did not expect to lose any sales as a result of installing the European-style overhead unit. The Servertab unit is manufactured by Italian company Expotutto and has been installed as part of a trial Mr Archer is running with wholesaler Booker.
He has converted his existing gantry to a shelving unit which he will use to give better visibility to spirits, while the front of the unit will be used to site a digital advertising screen. Mr Archer said he expected the space behind the counter for spirits to increase turnover by £1,000 a week, generating £230 profit and covering the cost of the gantry in between four and six weeks. “It’s a 400sq ft store and we felt that a one metre display behind the counter would be best used to display a higher margin category,” he said.
“Our customers know we stock cigarettes so I don’t believe it will have a huge impact on sales. “We will be looking very closely at EPoS to monitor the effect on sales.
“The unit itself is very easy to use and means that staff can see products at all times, so there is no effect on serving time like you would get with a shuttered gantry.” Mr Archer is believed to be among the first independents to convert to a hidden gantry ahead of April 2015, when all stores under 3,000sq ft will be forced to follow larger shops Although many retailers will get support from tobacco manufacturers, others will be left to fund changes themselves.