Tobacco Station Group’s 500th franchised store opens

By Sarah Stowe | 17 May 2021 View comments

The Tobacco Station Group has just opened its 500th franchised retail outlet, with the unveiling of the Birtinya store on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. And the growth continues, with plans to add another 25 to 30 outlets by the end of 2022.

The opening of the milestone outlet comes nearly 30 years after the very first Tobacco Station outlet was opened in Melbourne. Three stores in 1996 grew into The Tobacco Station Group, the first such chain in Australia.

Today tobacco sales remain the core purchases by TSG customers. However, with a changing retail scene the business has been quick to add complementary categories such as vaping (which is a growth market) tobacco accessories, candles, air fresheners, games, incense, laptop/phone accessories and assorted gift lines.

Back in late 2018 TSG established its own warehouse to ensure it could offer a wide range of products. Alongside a full range, competitive pricing and excellent product knowledge give the brand a competitive advantage.

There’s no doubt the tobacco industry has faced particular challenges over the years including restrictions on tobacco merchandise displays and the introduction of plain packaging, as well as tax increases, and a growing illicit trade.

But the franchisor took steps to remain an agile retailer, focusing on alternative revenue stream and investing in technology to assist franchisees achieve best practice in their retail outlets.

For instance, implementations such as integrated EFTPOS,  an upgraded POS, online training modules and improved reporting formats for franchisees.

Today there is a comprehensive retailing training program for franchisees, and they benefit from competitive trading terms with major suppliers, and lease negotiation. Capital investment in a Tobacco Station Group franchise is from $150,000.