Tobacco sales in corner stores fell by 50% in three years

A group of academics from Edinburgh examined sales information from nearly 1,400 convenience stores in England, Scotland, and Wales. Transactions from average weeks in March, June, September, and December of 2016 were compared to those from comparable weeks in 2019.

Cigarette sales

The team examined sales of other commodities individuals typically purchase at convenience stores, such as milk, bread, newspapers, and alcohol, in addition to tobacco products.

According to their findings, sales of tobacco products decreased by 47% over the course of three years. Only tobacco was the subject of 11% of transactions in 2016, but only 6% in 2019.

The percentage of sales that included a mix of tobacco products and other commodities decreased as well, going from 14% to 9%.

Typical things

Between 2016 and 2019, average weekly sales in convenience stores fell by 16%, with tobacco sales falling the most sharply of any commodity.

The sales of newspapers and magazines fell by 25%, which was the next-largest decrease. Contrarily, several products, such as e-cigarettes, alcopops, and alcohol, saw an increase in sales over the three-year period.

Despite significant increases in tobacco product prices between 2016 and 2019, the share of overall weekly store turnover attributable to these sales fell by 8%, from 47 to 39 percent.

Nationally declining

According to the team, retailers’ reliance on tobacco sales has decreased across the entire United Kingdom.

In comparison to rural stores and those in wealthy areas, tobacco product sales and their contribution to weekly turnover were higher in stores in urban, more economically depressed areas. However, the disparities between locations were reduced most in these establishments over time.

The Retail Data Partnership contributed the information that was used in the study, which was published in the journal Tobacco Control.

“The tobacco industry has long argued that tobacco goods are necessary for convenience stores across the nation to survive.”

Our most recent study refutes the tobacco industry’s claims by demonstrating that tobacco is becoming less and less vital to small merchants’ business plans.

The findings highlight the necessity of reducing local tobacco product availability in order to achieve government targets for smoking cessation over the next ten years, according to Professor Jamie Pearce.