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How to reduce our products’ theft and shoplifting (in retail stores) while increasing their brand perception?

British American Tobacco (BAT) wanted to develop a new product positioning strategy within supermarket chains where other types of products such as soft drinks and toiletries were more attractive.


Our goal was to develop a specific product sales and promotion center, where cigarettes, cigars, and accessories would be dispensed and promoted, to protect the product from theft, guide the consumer’s attention by offering many shopping possibilities, provide more convenience, increase turnover, and promote the positioning of different brands. It had been determined that the exhibition of tobacco products, safety, and customer service were neglected.

The design effort was focused on the projection of new promotion systems for each point of sale, but standardized for their production, which were located in specific spaces and will have a payment point and a person in charge.


The BAT tobacco shops represented a design challenge in two fundamental aspects.


First, they should be inspired by their international brands Kent, Kool, and Belmont’s concepts and communication strategies. They had to achieve a substantial visual impact that would harmonize with the supermarkets’ communication where they would be located. 

In addition to this, the “tobacco points of sale” (TPOS) had to be designed modularly with easy installation and maintenance, including a design that had to be stable, to have auto lighting, electrical, and product safety systems, and to facilitate the replacement and handling of all the types of products that are on the market, (not exclusively those of BAT).

As an additional point, they had to equally concentrate on all the tobacco materials, such as lighters derived products, and show competing brands.

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Another design challenge was to produce different design concepts for each supermarket chain and for each brand so that one supermarket, TPOS with the Kent brand, would look different from the tobacco shops of another supermarket chain and so on.

There were particular requirements for each retail store that had to be treated and standardized: some needed to be adapted to the space and aesthetics of the liquor cellars and points of sale, while others adapted to the boxes and payment points. This meant developing dynamic materials and concepts.


The challenge also required a design line that was not particular to the BAT brands but needed to harmonize with them. Finally, all these components had to maintain a low cost of relative production and a high promotion impact through their life spans.

The result was highly satisfactory for the company. It represented an average 30% to 50% increase in sales, a considerable decrease in theft and product losses, improved 36 customer service, and higher brand visibility. It also represented for the supermarkets the benefits of logistics that increased the satisfaction of their customers.

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