Australian retailers who worried that standardized packaging of tobacco products would negatively affect their bottom lines had good reason to be concerned, according to a Convenience Store story quoting new research.
‘The Impact of Plain Packaging on Small Retailers’ report from Roy Morgan, commissioned by Philip Morris and with Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) support, is the first major comprehensive review of the impact of standardized packaging on retail outlets – 450 in all.
The findings largely echo the concerns retailers held leading up to the introduction of the legislation and include:
* Ninety per cent of small retailers experienced increases in the time taken to serve tobacco customers and 75 per cent reported additional time spent communicating with these customers about tobacco products.
* Seventy-three per cent of retailers faced increased frustration from adult tobacco customers, and 59 per cent have seen an increase in the frequency of staff supplying the wrong products, primarily due to difficulty in recognizing and distinguishing between brands.
* Nearly half of small retailers believe plain packaging has negatively affected the level of service they are able to provide their non-tobacco customers.
* The large majority of small retailers find it takes more time to order stock and around 80 per cent have experienced an increase in the occurrence of out-of-stock items since the transition.
* The majority of small retailers reported their staff now has a heavier workload.
* Almost two-thirds of small retailers have spent additional time training staff as a result of the changeover, while 40 per cent have faced additional costs from training staff members.
* Two-thirds of small retailers do not perceive that governments consider the needs of small businesses at all in its tobacco legislation, while the same amount report their feelings towards the government are now less favorable as a result of the plain packaging legislation.
* Seventy-seven per cent of small retailers said plain packaging is having a negative impact on their business overall.
* Small retailers are concerned that plain packaging will result in an increase in illicit trade.
* Couriers delivering stock face longer waiting times in store, a loss of productivity and potentially increased costs…