Booker, the UK’s largest wholesaler responsible for supplying goods to over 125,000 convenience stores across the country, has seen a sharp fall in tobacco sales.

In the three months to 24 March, Booker’s tobacco sales dropped by 7.5 percent, while non-tobacco sales were up by 4.7 percent.

Tobacco sales have declined since the ban on displaying cigarette packets was rolled out to corner shops and newsagents in April 2015.

Cigarettes generate less than 10 percent of small retailer’s profits — a mere £242 ($303) a week on average — according to research conducted last year by the antismoking group, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Just 16.9 percent of adults in England now smoke, data from Public Health England (PHE) revealed in September 2016.

However, that’s still 7.2m smokers, so health campaigners are pleased that anti-tobacco legislation is about to get even tougher.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

From May onwards, rolling tobacco or packets of 10 cigarettes will be unavailable to purchase, while menthol cigarettes will be phased out completely by 2020.

All new standardised packets will be dark green, with graphic images will illustrate the harmful effects of smoking on health.


“The smoking ban, increased taxes, putting tobacco out of sight in shops, getting rid of cigarette vending machines, and more recently, standardised packs, have all helped to change attitudes and smoking rates, resulting in falling tobacco sales,” George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy manager told Verdict. “But it’s important to remember that millions of people in the UK continue to smoke and increased effort is needed to help smokers break their addiction.”

Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, hopes to acquire Booker for £3.7bn.