Prior to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, tobacco held a more than 40% share in just about every market in the U.S. Since the agreement, the numbers have slowly faded as regulation and taxation have taken their toll. To analyze the short- and long-term viability of this volatile, yet vital category, Convenience Store Decisions has assembled a team of tobacco experts to take a critical look at how tobacco retailing has changed over the past decade and identify the key learnings that can help operators grow their tobacco business.
The Webcast, “Tobacco 2007: Issues, Insights and Implications From Lessons Learned in 2006,” will take place Thursday, Nov. 30 at 2 p.m. United States Smokeless Tobacco (USST) is the Webcast sponsor and registration for this important even is free!
The presenters for Tobacco 2007, part of CSD’s Roundtable Webcast Series, include:
* David Bishop, vice president of Willard Bishop Consulting
* Nik Modi, tobacco analyst for UBS Warburg
* Jim Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS)
* Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO)
* Tobacco category managers from local and national chains
Among the topics retailers, analysts and consultants will be discussing are:
* The rise of third-tier and premium tobacco brands. While not exempt from MSA, third-tier and premium brands are using aggressive pricing strategies to gain more shelf space at local convenience stores.
* The dynamic growth of the OTP segment. Moist smokeless tobacco (MST) remains one of the hottest categories in the convenience store. Consultant David Bishop will discuss how MST is driving margins and overall profitability throughout the store and cite examples of effective strategies for driving penny profits.
* The growth of flavored cigars. Varieties like sour apple, cherry, amaretto and even tropical fruit, are putting some flavor into the cigar business and are appealing to a host of smokers. Non-cigar smokers view them as a novelty and hardcore puffers say they’re a nice alternative to their favorite brands. Whatever the reason, indications are this category is just beginning to peak.
* Marketing strategies. While each tobacco segment offers opportunities, retailers and consultant discuss effective bundling strategies that can grow the tobacco business and increase all-important impulse sales.
* What to expect from suppliers going forward. Diminished profitability is also impacting suppliers reducing allowance/slotting fees at convenience stores to the point where these funds can just not be counted on. But that doesn’t mean manufacturers aren’t making alternative programs available in 2007 and beyond.