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Retailers Shocked at potential $45million bill

Press Release from NZ Association of Convenience Stores

HEADLINE: Retailers Shocked at potential $45million bill

Media Release - NZACS - For Immediate Release
Tuesday 27 May 2008

Retailers shocked at potential $45million bill

The controversy around the Ministry of Health's Review of Tobacco Displays deepens with the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) saying costs to change retail shops could reach as high as $45 million dollars.

"New Zealand retailers just cannot afford this sort of unnecessary and unreasonable cost," says the Chairman of the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores Bryce Taylor.

"Tobacco control groups lobbying for a total retail display ban on tobacco have tried to downplay the issue of potential costs to retailers, but the reality of their proposals is vastly different."

It is very hard to reach a full understanding of the costs and upheaval involved since detailed proposals are yet to be announced by the Ministry. However, any proposals to change the positioning of the tobacco category would require alterations to the layout of retail shops and therefore force retailers to incur significant additional costs to their businesses.

"Proposals to 'put tobacco below the counter' would be extremely expensive for retailers as renovations would be required, particularly with cables and electrical connections under the existing counters" said Mr Taylor.

"Retailers' across New Zealand face ever increasing business costs and we are now faced with a slowing down in the economy. The last thing we need is the imposition of thousands of dollars in costs because anti-tobacco campaigners want more bans on tobacco."

NZACS estimates that the 7,500 retailers selling tobacco around New Zealand could incur over $45 million dollars in expenses if the Ministry of Health pushes ahead with efforts to ban the visibility of tobacco in our shops.

"NZACS believes that instead of forcing ineffective regulation, significant costs on retailers and inconveniencing customers there is an opportunity for the government to provide greater enforcement of current regulations and work with retailers instead of against them" said Mr Taylor.


ENDS

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