Financial services, bill payment, groceries… The great transformation of tobacconists

Payment of bills for local public services (canteen, crèche, etc.) can be made at tobacconists. Jérémie FULLERINGER/PHOTOPQR/LA MONTAGNE/MAXPPP

In four years, 15% of the 23,500 points of sale have already been transformed.

In Lescar, near Pau, people now come to Philippe Coy’s tobacco shop to pay their bills, pick up a parcel, carry out a banking transaction, buy a salad… Two years after the start of the pandemic, tobacco shops are continuing their forced march moult. “The Covid has been an accelerator for the transformation of points of sale, which began at the end of 2018“, welcomes Philippe Coy, president of the Confederation of tobacconists (23,500 points of sale).

By limiting cross-border purchases and parallel trade (smuggling and counterfeiting), the pandemic has certainly boosted sales at tobacconists, which remained open during the lockdowns. But it also forced them to adapt. “They had to be imaginative to meet the expectations of their customers, by selling sandwiches, coffees to take away, by serving as a depot for market gardeners…, says Philippe Coy. In many territories, these new missions have continued, helping to improve the image…

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