Research by digital identity security specialists, ID Crypt Global, reveals that the newsagent and tobacconist market is due to shrink by -4.4% in 2023 following a decade of significant decline.
ID Crypt analysed historic data on the annual revenue of the newsagent and tobacconist sector to see just how the industry has performed in recent years.
The figures show that, in 2013, the sector generated total revenue of £4.3 billion.
From there, the sector recorded four years of declining revenue totalling almost -24% to leave 2017’s revenue at just £3.4 billion.
A somewhat unexpected bump of 4% pushed 2018 revenue up to £3.5 billion, before dropping by 3.7% in 2019.
Then, as the pandemic took hold of the nation, 2020 revenue plummeted by -12.8% followed by another -20.5% drop in 2021.
In 2022, the sector recorded a slight recovery of 1.4% leading to an annual revenue of £2.4 billion.
By the end of 2023, ID Crypt’s research estimates that the sector is going to shrink again with revenue falling by -4.4% to total £2.3 billion by the end of the year.
CEO and Founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith said, “Newsagents and tobacconists have long formed a familiar part of the UK highstreet, but it’s clear to see that the sector is in decline.
“The number of tobacco smokers is falling, and people are likely choosing to buy their alcohol from supermarkets that can offer more affordable prices.
“While the number of cigarette smokers falls, the number of people vaping is soaring. And although some newsagents and tobacconists are trying to capitalise on this, vapes are also frequently being sold by specialist retailers and, more concerningly, in shops and stalls that sell the devices alongside items such as phone cases and budget electronics.
“We say ‘concerningly’ because, with most of these retailers, vapes are the only age-restricted products on their shelves, so the staff aren’t experienced in, or in the habit of, being vigilant with ID checks. As such, the risk of vapes being sold to underage children is high because the systems simply aren’t in place to encourage vigilant age-verification.
“As this trend continues, it’s important that modern retailers are ensuring that they only stock properly approved vape products, and that they are kept out of the hands of children.”