Eighty eight per cent of retailers are failing to capitalise on the potential for cigar profits this Christmas, new independent research has found.

The insight reveals that while nearly one in four retailers notice an increase in cigar sales over the Christmas period only 11% of retailers take advantage of the profit opportunity by stocking up.

Cigar sales can increase by as much as 10-15% the week before Christmas versus the preceding weeks. The new research further reveals that 15% of retailers see an increase in dual smokers at Christmas, strengthening the argument for retailers to stock up on the most popular cigar brands and formats to upsell to their existing smokers.

Retailers overwhelmingly reported that Hamlet is the most recognisable cigar brand – 72.5% - more than five times that of the nearest competitor - while miniatures remain the most popular cigar size with 63% stating this as their most successful format.

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI head of communications, comments: “Hamlet is a long-standing success story for retailers and an absolute must stock in the run up to Christmas. As the figures suggest, cigar sales typically increase over this period, so retailers need to take advantage of this trend and prepare accordingly.

“Those retailers who aren’t seeing an uplift need to stock up with the most recognisable cigar brand and take advantage of the Hamlet half outer allowing them to tap into the profit opportunity without tying up funds.”

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