ASH research shows corner shops don’t need tobacco to be profitableWell actually, their report, Counter-arguments (geddit?), would be funny except for the fact that - in the absence of anything useful to do with the taxes government regularly shovel this wasteful bunch of parasites - you paid for it.
Snowdon has already sliced and diced it (a simple task since their economic acumen alone wouldn't even merit a GCSE E grade) but I did find this part particularly hilarious.
Newcastle-based small retailer John McClurey agrees, but says corner shops have little choice but to sell tobacco:
“I have little choice 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. Tobacco is a burden to me.Now, this is the best supporter ASH could find in the trade and he admits that he cannot stop selling tobacco because it is a necessity to his business.
It's very simple, John. If you believe what ASH says - that "corner shops don’t need tobacco to be profitable", simply stop selling it.
He believes it’s time for change and welcomes the ASH report because it challenges retailers to consider whether tobacco companies and their local reps really have retailers’ interests in mind.
“The decline in the market, the disappearance of cigarettes behind gantry doors and the shift to plain packaging have made the traditional approach to selling tobacco out-dated. A better alternative for retailers is to reduce stock, shift the gantry and free-up space for products that actually turn a decent profit.”Well off you go then, Johnny-boy, what's stopping you?
Here's the guy, next to those products he's been selling for over 30 years and which, it would appear, he doesn't intend to stop selling anytime soon.
Why? because, on the same day as ASH released their report, buried at the bottom of their bastard cousin ASH Scotland's daily news round-up was this article in Wholesale News (emphases mine).
“Independents account for 50% of all tobacco sales in the UK and this has been driven by PMPs which have around 80% of the market and have proven popular with both retailers and shoppers. By premium pricing tobacco products, many retailers are only forcing smokers to go to the multiple retailers who are still charging at the RRP or below. Offering a compelling price on tobacco will keep customers coming through the door as it is the primary driver of footfall into c-stores. We do not need to give the multiples a hand-up when it comes to attracting customers. Instead retailers have to protect and develop their own businesses. I firmly believe that it’s ‘RRP or RIP’ for many independent stores as their businesses are at risk if reduced traffic comes through their doors.
“We have seen from Australia that retailers who price at RRP or below have had no adverse effect on their tobacco sales. This is critically important as the tobacco shopper visits c-stores more regularly than non-smokers and spends almost £1,500 per year more in store. As a customer group, these shoppers are vital to your business and for your continued success, you need to retain these shoppers rather than drive them to rivals.”ASH, it would seem, would prefer corner shops to commit business suicide just to satisfy their extremist feud with tobacco companies. Needless to say, if that were to happen, salaries of the hideous tax-scrounging trolls at ASH would not suffer one little bit.
But it's not going to happen anyway. If even the anti-smoking lobby's only supporter in the retail trade (they stick him on the end of a broom handle quite often to spout their shit as a result) admits that his business needs to sell tobacco and would suffer if it didn't, what the hell is the point in ASH's report today?
Meanwhile, in the real world, newsagents and tobacconists will be lobbying MPs tomorrow with a manifesto entitled "Fair Deal for Small Shops", which will doubtless include criticism of the many abuses their trade has suffered at the hands of the selfish, ivory tower, empathy-free extremists at ASH. And will be backed by every small retailer up and down the country with the exception of John McClury ... who still sells tobacco.
Now, who would you believe about the economics of the convenience store business? Those who work in it day to day, 99.9% of whom believe ASH to be a force for evil? Or ASH, who would find it difficult to push beads around an abacus without a detailed manual and have never had to turn an honest profit in their lives, and their lone retail supporter who says convenience stores should stop selling tobacco even though he can't himself without going bust?
Please! Someone cut off ASH's fucking funding, for crying out loud, they're beginning to embarrass themselves.