BOTTLE Mart Express, in Moorabool St, is down to its last few packs of cigarettes, not that you can see them behind the counter.
Shop owner-manger My Phan said tobacco company workers came and installed doors on her shop’s cigarette display cabinet a few weeks ago in readiness for the new statewide ban on cigarette displays in shops, which takes effect from tomorrow.
Ms Phan said her shop’s cigarette sales had plummeted to the point that British American Tobacco and Phillip Morris have refused to re-stock her shelves. The last few packs in the cupboard, which are leftover from last month’s order, will be the last ones she sells.
The display ban is the last of a range of smoking law reforms introduced by the previous Labor government to come into effect. It excludes specialist tobacco stores and airport duty-free outlets.
While the law is being introduced in a bid to reduce smoking, Ms Phan said it would dramatically hurt her business.
“I can’t sell cigarettes any more,” she said.
“This is bad for business, it’s already hard here (in the CBD) with it being quiet and not enough parking around. I might have to sell my business soon.”
The Australian Retailers Association has estimated the display bans could cost the average convenience store $17,560 per year, due to deterioration in customer transaction and service times.
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