"Terry Hill" [address redacted]
31/05/2011 10:12 AM
Subject Plain packaging of cigarettes.
To whom it may concern,
To clarify my position, I run a small family convenience store west of Mackay. We employ 11 staff, all of whom live locally. Cigarette sales account for about 30% of our turnover. I & none of my family & few of my staff smoke. We comply with all tobacco laws & have just installed doors on our cigarette display.
My concern is one of logistics only, I don't care about pricing, display areas or packet designs. In our situation, as I'm sure will be reflected in similar stores, ordering, reordering, stock rotation & stock take will become a nightmare if plain packaging is introduced. Clearly the one-eyed intent of this bill is to discourage smokers, & an underhanded by-product of the bill is to provide maximum inconvenience to retailers etc.
It is clear to me that the bill is designed to introduce maximum difficulty with retailers, particularly small ones, in the hope that retailers, like myself, will find that ranging cigarettes is too difficult for the returns we receive & will cease to stock them. Larger retailers with more storage space may fair better as they may be able to allocate bays etc to a product & may not experience stock handling issues to the degree smaller vendors may.
As usual, small business is neglected by this government who seem hell bent upon making small business unviable.
If this bill becomes law, we will continue to sell cigarettes, but will be forced to break the law ourselves & label the front of each shelf on our display so that we can identify the product that the customer wants. I suggest that other small retailers will have to do similarly otherwise our customer service will become a frustrating mess. In small business, our only remaining strength is in providing excellent & personal customer service.
The Tobacco Plain Packaging Information Kit provides practical information on the responsibilities and obligations of retailers and other suppliers of tobacco products under the new Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011.
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