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Retailers Disappointed with Committee Report

6 August 2014

Retailers Disappointed with Committee Report

The New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) today expressed disappointment at the release of the Health Select Committee Report on the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill.

“The Health Committee has effectively ignored the concerns of over 750 retailers who submitted to the Committee expressing real-world concerns about the impact of the Bill on the retail sector,” said Roger Bull, Chairman of the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores.

“Just because its tobacco regulation doesn’t mean its good regulation, and the Health Committee report backing plain packaging will result in retailers spending more time re-ordering, re-stocking, training staff and serving customers.

Extrapolated across the retail sector, it impacts on thousands of small to medium sized New Zealand businesses.

“The simple fact is that retailers sell tobacco because there is a consumer demand for the product and tobacco represents an important revenue stream for convenience stores and small dairies,” said Mr Bull.

Furthermore the Committee is going against the wishes of over 11,800 submitters who opposed plain packaging and the nearly 4,000 retailers (about 71% of the 5,600 retailers that sell tobacco) who opposed the idea.

“If there is a ray of sunshine, it is that the New Zealand Government will hold-off progressing this Bill until various WTO challenges facing Australia as a result of their introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products, have been resolved,” Mr Bull said.

Background
• NZACS is a leading trade association representing the interests of over 750 retailers and suppliers within the convenience retailing industry in New Zealand.
• NZACS produces industry research including an annual survey of retailer performance across the convenience retail sector.
• NZACS provides education and development opportunities for member employees in the industry, including an annual development programme for aspiring retail and supplier company leaders.

ENDS

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