Cigarettes no longer a core product for Britain’s corner shops: study

Cigarettes sales are no longer a key source of profit for corner shops and small retailers in the UK, a survey conducted by antismoking group ASH indicated.

After conducting an analysis of the electronic point-of-sale data from nearly 1,500 convenience stores, ASH cigarettes now account for less than 10 per cent of their total profits, or just £242 per week.

The antismoking group added that it also carried out a telephone survey of six hundred newsagents, 69 per cent of whom said they only made small profits from tobacco products. Some retailers were found saying that they had little choice but to sell tobacco.

John McClurey, the owners of an independent newsagent in Newcastle, said, “I have little choice [but] to sell tobacco as many of my customers still smoke. But tobacco makes me very little money while tying up plenty of cash in stock.”

A separate survey conducted in the U.S. revealed that the use of menthol cigarettes has for some time been on the rise, while overall cigarette smoking is on the down.

According to the survey, 39 per cent of cigarette smokers surveyed between 2012 and 2014 reported opting for menthol brands, up from 35 per cent between 2008 and 2010. Younger smokers were found to be more likely to choose menthol cigarettes than older smokers. The biggest increase of 9.8 per cent was seen among Hispanic smokers as well as white smokers between the ages of 26 and 34.