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Retail Insights

Tobacco remains a major revenue driver for independent c-stores

Like many other categories, January sales of Tobacco were affected by lower footfall and consumers’ New Year resolutions for healthier, more modest lifestyles. Both sales and volume of all traditional tobacco categories – Factory Made Cigarettes (FMC), Cigars, Roll-Your-Own Tobacco (RYO), as well as Tobacco Accessories saw a 1-12% decline over December.

Despite continuing decline in consumption, Tobacco remains a vital source of revenue and profit for independent c-stores: in 2018 Tobacco sales accounted for 31% of sales revenue, on average. At the end of 2018, as many as 1 in 5 shopper baskets contained at least one tobacco product. Moreover, tobacco shoppers continue to be valuable for c-stores. 1 in 5 FMC and RYO shoppers also purchase a soft drink or flavoured milk drink; 1 in 6 buy from the confectionery category and 1 in 8 add an item from chiller, ambient groceries and/or alcohol shelves.
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