Ignite, the trade partner programme from Imperial Tobacco, is celebrating strong figures since its launch last January.

The scheme, which is designed to help independent retailers achieve the highest standards in tobacco retailing and move their business forwards, has around 15,000 active members earning and redeeming Ignite points, and has trained the equivalent of over 45,000 staff.

Over the last 12 months retailers who are members of the scheme have seen their availability levels increase on average by 3%, generating additional footfall and income through basket spend worth an estimated extra £19m among members, equating to £1,275 per store.

Sophie Hogg, head of trade marketing at Imperial Tobacco, said: “Ignite has been designed to help independent retailers grow their tobacco sales through a suite of user-friendly tools. Its focus is to help retailers improve availability and merchandising and increase the level of shopper engagement.”

Retailers who sign up to the Ignite programme are given a range of targets in line with the requirements of their tobacco shoppers and are offered support from their Imperial Tobacco representative with category expertise, staff training and innovative tools and solutions. Upon achieving their targets, retailers are awarded with points that can be spent against rewards. Rewards range from personal rewards, such as; Love2shop vouchers, iPads and tickets to sporting events, to business rewards - including security items such as; CCTV and a DNA forensic tagging system.

Hogg added: “As a result of our extensive research and development the Ignite programme offers retailers the very best advice and support to drive their tobacco category forward. We have already received some fantastic feedback from retailers with many citing how useful and informative they have found the service.”

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