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Retailers seeing new year sales spike, PMI says

January 11, 2021

Credit: IQOS

Almost 60 percent of retailers say they have seen a spike in sales of smoke free products in 2021 as more smokers decide to kick the habit as part of new year’s resolutions.

The findings are part of new data from KAM Media on behalf of IQOS brand owner Philip Morris.

Seven in 10 retailers say they are “very prepared” in offering smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco while store owners say customers prioritise ease of purchase and similarity to smoking when choosing the right next-generation nicotine product for them.

Highlighting the growing importance of the heated tobacco sector, the survey shows that more than half (52 percent) of retailers now stock a range in store.

While the data highlights the importance of the new year and customers efforts to make less harmful choices, it also provides a positive long-term picture.

The majority (59 percent) of retailers surveyed believed that in the last few years, more of their customers have been looking for less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Over a third (38 percent) of the retailers expected a further increase in their customers seeking better alternatives to cigarettes in 2021, versus half that number (18 percent) who were expecting those numbers to fall.

Responding to data, Kate O’Dowd, head of commercial planning for UK & Ireland at Philip Morris, said: “Without question quitting tobacco and nicotine usage completely is the best option any smoker can make. Of those that cannot or will not quit, the new year offers smokers an opportunity to make a better choice. With over a third of retailers expecting demand for smoke-free products to increase in 2021, stocking a range of alternatives, like IQOS – the UK’s number one smoke-free product – will be key in helping adult smokers move away from cigarettes for good.”