European retailers, Kruidvat and Trekpleister, owned by A.S. Watson, will end the sales of tobacco products in over 1000 stores in next two years.
Tobacco sales to be phased out of stores
Kruidvat is aiming to end sales of tobacco at two-thirds of their stores this year. For practical reasons, this will be phased out to the rest of their store network in 2019. In new and renovated Kruidvat stores, it will no longer sell tobacco products. With the aim to end the sale of tobacco products at all stores by the end of 2019, the decision will impact over 250 Kruidvat stores in Belgium, 933 Kruidvat and 190 Trekpleister stores in the Netherlands.
Setting new standards...
CEO of A.S. Watson Health & Beauty Benelux, Gerard van Breen, said "We strive to best help our customers to be and stay healthy by offering them an extensive and affordable assortment. The sale of tobacco is not compatible with this desire[...]. We are the first major distributor to take responsibility by ending tobacco sales in our stores within two years. We want to help protect children from the temptation of smoking. The 'no tobacco' must become the new standard [...]"
This latest announcement is a major step towards aligning the business closer to health, a move that the Foundation Against Cancer in Belgium has praised as a 'courageous decision'. By voluntarily ending the sales of tobacco products, the retailer has set a precedent for others to follow this example.
Sign up here to view our latest report on A.S. Watson’s retail outlook over the next five years.