THOUSANDS of retailers may have been left with tobacco stock it is now illegal for them to sell, following the arrival of TPD2 on May 20, according to the Retail Data Partnership.
Research from the EPOS specialist showed that just days before the sell-through period for branded products expired last month, they still made up to 20% of packs sold in convenience stores.
Data from mid-May shows:
• Of the 882,000+ factory-made cigarette packs, 23.27% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs (down from 27.97% the previous week).
• Of the 127,000+ roll-your-own tobacco pouches, 10.56% were sold in non-compliant, branded packs (down from 11.94% the previous week).
• Only 4.65% of retailers exclusively sold compliant, non-branded packs (up from 3.67%) the previous week.
Stephen Burnett, managing director of the Retail Data Partnership, said: “We expect that branded packs will still be commonly sold in convenience stores even after the date has passed in an effort by retailers to sell their remaining branded stock.
“This is obviously risky for retailers who may face prosecution from Trading Standards as well as retribution from their tobacco gantry provider.”