Gavin Anderson (pictured), general sales manager of Republic Technologies (UK), advises wholesalers on making the most of the tobacco accessories category.
Our focus on and commitment to the cash & carry/wholesale sector has helped us to maintain a healthy and consistent 50:50 split with the retail channel of our business. We have a dedicated team of specialist sales colleagues looking after this important channel throughout the UK.
How are you looking to develop your business through the cash & carry/ delivered wholesale trade?
Cash & carry has been an area of significant focus for us in recent years. During that time, we have also invested heavily in category development support for retailers in a way that helps them to select the higher volume lines that their customers require.
Many accessory bays have been cleaned, reorganised and stocked in line with sales history. In keeping with doing what is right for our customers, we include competitor lines which gives them confidence in our guidance. More recently we have been involved in rebuilding and re-merchandising displays for our cash & carry partners following lockdown closures.
Do you find that wholesalers maximise the opportunities available in the tobacco accessories category?
We find there is mixed focus on accessories. These days more customers appreciate the margins, benefits and loyalty that comes with a well-stocked range of market-leading tobacco accessories. We recognise, however, that sometimes space is at a premium and that compromises have to be made about which products to stock. My advice is not to overlook the excellent margins available.
One simple rule for us is, where possible, display some key accessories in the household aisle as well as the tobacco room (allowing for all legislative requirements in Scotland). At the very least, consider displaying somewhere near the tobacco room door which will give so many more customers visibility and access to these strong-performing products. Talk to your RTUK sales contact for ideas about displaying our products in ways that will really make an impact.
Similarly, what more can delivered wholesalers do to increase their sales of tobacco accessories?
Remember that they sell them! Having previously worked for a major wholesaler, one thing I did recognise was the lack of focus that some salespeople place on accessories. They have so many lines and promotions to discuss with retailers that accessories often do not get the focus they deserve, considering the high margins available.
Call us for support with ranging, PoS, promotions, etc. We have a team of field-based customer development managers, on hand to assist.
Can you share any news relating to product launches?
We recently launched our biggest ever range of new filters, with amazing success. We listened to feedback from retailers and went on to develop our new capsule filters which have performed extremely well in the trade.
More recently, we have launched a range of utility lighters under three brands: By Candle Light, Lumiere and Zig Zag. They are ‘lighting up’ and providing some excitement in the category, along with strong margins. I am confident they will secure broad distribution.
Is there anything else our readers should know about Republic Technologies’ operation or strategy?
We have continued to grow our business during this challenging year because of our dedicated teams at head office, at our warehouse and in the field, all of whom endeavour to offer excellent customer service and support.
We continue to innovate, having introduced 11 new products to the UK market this year alone, with our Swan NPD range currently in the running for honours in the Retail Industry Awards.
Tel: Republic Technologies (01494) 492233
Published Date: September 30, 2020