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Cigarette, Newspaper & Liquor Store Industry: Complete Sector Overview

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Cigarette, Newspaper & Liquor Store Market Analysis

These specialty shops are businesses that primarily operate as retail outlets for the producers of cigarettes, alcohol and newspapers. They are hardly ever captive dealers, usually obtaining their supplies from wholesalers. In many parts of the world, licenses are needed for the sale of liquor. In the USA, liquor licenses are issued separately by each individual state. For instance, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is responsible for regulating and controlling the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages within Texas. There are chains, such as W.H. Smith and Oddbins, but most of these retailers are small independents.

Key Segments

These stores generally operate as:

Newspaper stores sell newspapers and magazines and sometimes stationery and other small convenience purchases. They either act as retailers or distributors or both. In the UK and Australia they are called newsagents, while in the USA they are known as newsstands.

Cigarette stores are typically a part of newspaper stores, mom and pop stores or small road stands or individual retail outlets sometimes called tobacconists. Loose tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking accessories are available in these stores.

Liquor stores are generally chain stores or individually owned stores.  In most cases the alcoholic products sold in these stores, which include wine, beer and spirits, are for consumption off the store's premises (unlike pubs and bars). Depending on the country, they are called bottle stores, off licenses or wine shops.

Convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores in many countries sell more than one of the above products.

Regional Market Shares

The market for cigarette, newspaper and liquor retailers is driven by the popularity of these products in different regions and by the fact that they are convenience purchases. About 5.8 trillion cigarettes are smoked worldwide each year; China’s is the largest market, while Eastern Europe has the highest rate per capita, according to the Washington Post. Alcohol consumption is high in Europe, the USA and China.

Europe: At 2000 per person per year, Eastern Europe has the highest annual consumption of cigarettes in the world. Alcoholic beverages are also popular throughout Europe. In Germany sales of liquor is more than €18 billion, followed by France with more than €12 billion sales and the UK with about €5 billion sales. The Daily Telegraph and Le Figaro are some of the largest newspaper companies in Europe.

China: The Chinese market for cigarettes is the world’s largest because of its population size, but at just over 1700 cigarettes per person annually, its smoking rate is lower than that of other Asian countries like Korea and Japan.  China's consumption of alcoholic drinks has increased exponentially as disposable incomes have risen. According to International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR), China is the world's largest alcohol market with 38% of global spirits consumption.

The USA: The USA’s market for cigarettes is one of the world’s largest, with about 1000 cigarettes being consumed per person annually. The alcohol industry in the USA is worth more than $170 billion dollars. The demand is growing for beer, wine and spirits in this country. Gannett Company, Inc. and Digital First Media are two of the largest newspaper companies in the USA.

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