SuperAmerica Slapped for Cigarette Sales to Minors

Feb 13, 2002

SuperAmerica convenience store was caught selling cigarettes to minors
five times in two years, reports Convenience Store News. It must pay a $10,000
fine and will not be allowed to sell any tobacco products for one year, the
Burnsville City Council decided. The ruling is believed to be Minnesota’s stiffest
civil penalty to date for selling cigarettes to minors, according to the St.
Paul Pioneer Press. The company estimates the store will lose about $600,000
in sales. The SuperAmerica unit also faces potential criminal charges in the

Moderator Comment: How good a job are retailers doing
in preventing the sale of tobacco and alcohol products to under age consumers?

Chances are with $600,000 lost in annual sales, this store
will have to close. Convenience stores, as we have discussed here previously,
are bottom line dependent on cigarette and other tobacco product sales and profits.

The repeated failure of this one SuperAmerica unit points
out the need for training and on-going communication between headquarters and
store locations. Is the practice of selling cigarettes to consumers that are
under age still common place or is this an isolated example? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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