Walmart will no longer sell cigarettes in some of its stores, although tobacco sales could be a significant source of revenue.
NEW YORK – Walmart will no longer sell cigarettes in some of its stores, although tobacco sales could be a significant source of revenue.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the development on Monday. It was on some store lists in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico, citing anonymous sources and store inspections.
Walmart is not the first national retail chain to stop selling cigarettes on an experimental basis, but it is the largest.
Target stopped selling cigarettes in 1996, and drugstore chain CVS Health did the same in 2014.
CVS Health’s sales outside the pharmacy fell by a few quarters after the tobacco product was pulled, and the company predicted that losing tobacco products would result in a loss of 7 to 8 cents per share per annum.
Decisions to move cigarettes to Walmart will be made on a business-by-store basis according to business and specific markets, the company said Monday.
Walmart said in a prepared statement, “We are always looking for ways to meet the needs of our customers while conducting an efficient business.
Health officials say cigarette smoking is the cause of one in five deaths each year in the United States.
Walmart Inc., based in Bentonville, Arkansas, announced in 2019 that it was stepping out of the vaping business and would stop selling electronic cigarettes in its stores and Sam’s clubs. It said at the time that the decision was “based on increasing federal, state and local regulatory complexities.”
Tom Murphy, an AP health writer at Indianapolis, contributed to this report.
Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio