Indies are all set to capitalise on the tobacco display ban that came into force in the supermarkets last week.

According to Booker, more than 4,000 of its customers attended presentations held recently at its depots to learn how to maximise sales and take advantage of the larger stores’ tobacco gantries going dark.

At the presentations Booker told customers the “D-Day” ban could be worth £1bn to the independent trade and could attract two million new customers every week. It also predicted supermarkets would delist slowerselling lines, and that queues would increase.

It urged indies to make the most of shoppers who might prefer to buy tobacco from smaller stores, where the ban doesn’t come in to force until 2015.

Booker has also created a ‘Five Steps to Great Retailing’ guide that indies can use to evaluate their stores to attract and retain new customers.

“The guide is to help retailers exploit this £1bn opportunity and to make sure their store is set up to give their customers a great shopping experience,” said Booker retail director Steve Fox.