Smokers bring twice as much business to independent retailers’ stores as non-smokers, helping to boost turnover by 34%.

These are the key findings of Gallaher’s annual category review of the tobacco market, which is being launched this week.

According to the supplier’s calculations, smokers shopping in an independent outlet buy £31.48 of groceries there each week - the equivalent of £1,636 a year - compared to non-smokers, who spend £17.39.

Gallaher estimates that tobacco contributes around 21% to sales at a symbol group’s store, claiming it is the most cash generative category within independent and symbol groups stores.

For more information see this week’s Focus on Tobacco feature in The Grocer magazine - out Saturday.