Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG UK) has launched a project to help retailers get ready for the arrival of the display ban in smaller stores in April 2015.

As part of the project, STG UK is working closely with a number of retailers, named the Gantry Guardians, to offer retailers guidance and peer-to-peer advice to help them avoid loss of sales. The company advises that it is crucial for retailers to start preparing now; otherwise they will see their sales suffer as a result.

Using its expertise as the cigar manufacturer with the biggest market share, as well as insights from its Gantry Guardian ambassadors, STG UK will offer retailers guidance through the launch of its Gantry Guardians’ Guide to Tobacco.

The four-page report will include advice on key trends to bear in mind when undertaking a range review, as well as important diary dates and top tips on how to prepare for the ‘Dark Market’.

Alan Graham, head of marketing at STG UK, commented: “The arrival of the Dark Market has been looming over the tobacco category for some time but now it’s getting closer, it’s extremely important for retailers to get their gantry in order sooner rather than later.

“By undertaking simple steps now, like reviewing their range to ensure they are stocking the right products, as well as thinking about how to conceal their gantry, retailers will be able to get one step ahead of the game and will reduce the chances of falling sales once the Dark Market hits their store.

“Our Gantry Guardians are experiencing the same struggles and challenges as other retailers and so are able to offer first-hand advice on how to prepare. Using our category insights and direct advice from the shop floor with our Gantry Guardians, we will endeavor to support retailers through this transition period and help them get ready for the arrival of the display ban next year.”

The STG UK Gantry Guardians’ Guide to Tobacco Report will be handed out at key trade and depot events throughout the year. Any retailers keen to get their hands on a copy should ask their STG UK sales representative or contact customer services on 020 8731 3400 or email, quoting Gantry Guardians’ Guide.