retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB has been reporting in recent weeks about the growing list of supermarkets not selling tobacco products.

The list of companies that recently have announced this decision at this point includes Wegmans; Andronico’s; ShopRite Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, NJ; DeCicco Markets of suburban New York; and Budwey’s Supermarkets, of western New York. Not mentioned in past articles have been companies like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which do not sell tobacco.

MNB speculated the other day that many of the companies deciding not to sell tobacco products in recent weeks are family-owned companies…and that it will be interesting to see what happens when larger, publicly held companies come to the same conclusion.

Well, MNB received an email from an employee at Tesco’s US-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets chain the other pointing out that it does not sell tobacco…and that it is both a public company and not family-owned.

Point taken.

KC's View:
The way things are going, I expect this list to continue to grow. If retailers are going to draw a directly line between their food products and health & wellness, it becomes increasingly difficult to sell tobacco and do so with a straight face….especially if a chain wants to maintain a consistent brand image.