NEW YORK -- For convenience retailers concerned about their latest tobacco numbers, volumes—or units sold—should have improved in recent weeks, according to Nielsen data.
Overall, statistics from the New York-based research firm showed a faster-than-normal decline in cigarette volumes through early fall, but that apparent spiral has slowed. That deceleration shows up when comparing rates of decline over a four-week time frame ending Dec. 29, 2018, against a 12-week time frame ending on that same day.
Over that four-week period, cigarette volumes fell 6% (compared to the same time frame the year before), but slowed from a 7.3% decline over a 12-week period ending Dec. 29, 2018, according to Nielsen.
Cigarette sales for c-stores matched historic declines, falling 3.3% during the last four weeks of 2018 on an average increase in pricing of 2.9%, according to Wells Fargo Securities, New York, which reported the Nielsen stats in a recent newsletter.
Here’s how the major tobacco manufacturers and other tobacco segments did in the final days of 2018. ...
Altria Group Inc.
Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc. “modestly outperformed the broader category,” with cigarette dollar sales declining 2.1% over the four weeks (vs. falling 3.6% for 12 weeks) ending Dec. 29, 2018, based on falling volumes of 4.4% (vs. a negative 6% for 12 weeks) and a “modest” 2.3% increase in pricing.
British American Tobacco and Reynolds American Inc.
For London-based British American Tobacco and its subsidiary, Reynolds American Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., cigarette sales were “soft,” down 4.9% over four weeks (vs. 5.7% for 12 weeks), with an 8.7% decline in volume (vs. a decline of 9.5% for 12 weeks) and a 4.1% increase in pricing.