January 7, 2020
Major vaping supplier blu says stores must focus on range, visibility and education in order to capitalise on the e-cigarette opportunity in 2020.According to blu’s own data, the average vaper spends £38 per month on e-cigarettes and the category even has the support of health lobby groups which have for years been arguing for tighter restriction on the tobacco industry.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says that over half of current vapers are ex-smokers with dualists – those who use vape products alongside traditional tobacco – citing “cutting down” as the main reason for their use of e-cigarettes.
On ranging, Duncan Cunningham, Corporate Affairs Director at Imperial Tobacco & blu, says: “Stock at least one open and one closed system from a big brand like blu. Support your range of devices with a strong portfolio of e-liquids, especially fruit flavours, in a variety of nicotine strengths, including nicsalts like myblu Intense, to cater for all tastes.”
Strong visibility is also important with eye-catching PoS and countertop displays helping to grab customers’ attention in store.
Finally, Mr Cunningham says that education will play a key part as retailers look to take advantage of the category. “Make sure you understand the different products and terminology and share this knowledge with staff. This will allow you to advise customers on what products are right for them and help them switch. Engaging with customers will also help you tailor your range,” he says.
This advice comes as the category becomes ever more competitive. Major brands such as blu will be working ever more closely with independent retailers in the run up to May’s ban on menthol cigarettes with additional gantry space and new customers up for grabs for retailers and suppliers.
Mr Cunningham says: “Currently only a minority of vape sales stem from traditional retail outlets, suggesting a real growth opportunity for retailers prepared to invest in upskilling their staff and educating them on the category.”