First it was a c-store. Now Sainsbury’s has stopped selling cigarettes in three of its Scottish superstores as it continues to review the category in the wake of the Scottish government’s health levy.
The retailer has removed all tobacco products from stores in the Blackhall and Murrayfield areas of Edinburgh and Braehead near Glasgow, but will continue to sell tobacco from the petrol forecourt stores at Braehead and Murrayfield.
Last month it took tobacco out of its Sainsbury’s Local store in St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh.
The levy applies to all stores that sell alcohol and tobacco with a rateable value of over £300k.
One customer who tweeted Sainsbury’s this week to ask why it had stopped selling cigarettes was told “because we’ve never operated in a jurisdiction that has a tax such as this”.
So far, Sainsbury’s is the only retailer to react to the levy, but The Grocer understands that its rivals are monitoring the situation closely.