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Column: Display is key to post-lockdown vape success

July 20, 2021


If stores are to capitalise on the post-lockdown opportunity to grow vape sales, a focus on display and merchandising is paramount, says Duncan Cunningham, corporate affairs director at Imperial Tobacco and Blu

Display has a particularly crucial role to play at present, given the in-store restrictions still in place in many businesses as part of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many consumers won’t wish to handle products in order to look at them before they buy and may also be inclined not to ask questions at the till point to avoid queues building up behind them, which can be intimidating.

With this in mind, ensuring vaping products are displayed clearly and prominently in store is of key importance. Many specialist vape stores have invested significantly in their store interiors to ensure they offer maximum consumer appeal. While these stores include an extensive range of products, they are often carefully displayed to promote a minimalist look, featuring sleek arrangements of products. These attractive interiors and displays help draw consumers in from the high street and drive footfall into the stores.

Any independent retailers looking to compete and truly position themselves as a destination store for vapers – especially when there is a specialist store nearby – should therefore consider investing in their displays and range to offer a similar shopping experience for their customers.

In store, it is a good idea to have a strong visual display of vaping products, positioned away from the main gantry where possible, with clear information on pricing to enable customers to browse at their leisure without the need to handle and inspect products.

Where space is limited, even a small countertop unit can help achieve this, especially if it is well organised and fully stocked. Making sure it is positioned in a well-lit part of the counter will also help increase visibility of products even further. Whatever display option is used, shoppers are often drawn to products displayed at eye-line so to help attract their attention, we’d recommend placing devices at this level.

Retailers can also do simple things to drive sales such as promoting vaping products or offers in and around their stores, for example using PoS and countertop units to drive visibility. This can also help retailers to engage shoppers in discussion about their nicotine needs. However, whether using a PoS or a standalone countertop unit, it’s important to make these look as professional as possible so we’d recommend using assets provided by brand suppliers and avoiding handwritten signs, unless expertly done.

At Imperial and Blu, we have a range of different options that can be tailored to the needs of individual retailers, including everything from counter display units, to fully installed gantry furniture. Any retailers interested in finding out more should speak to their dedicated sales representative.

As well as supporting retailers through our sales representatives, our Ignite app is another great resource and allows retailers to keep up to date with the latest news, information and training opportunities to help them perform at maximum efficiency. It includes a wide range of tools and advice, including incentive articles, downloadable PoS, product information and top tips on how to increase sales in store.

Eye-catching PoS and countertop display units can really help drive visibility and grab the attention of shoppers as soon as they walk through the door. However, retailers must make sure that they are fully compliant with the Children and Young Persons Act 1991 by displaying a prominent notice in store stating that it is illegal to sell vape product to anyone under the age of 18. When deciding on ways to display vape-related products, retailers must also ensure that they are merchandised only to appeal to adults by ensuring counter display units and gantry furniture are kept at adult eye level, and away from any child or adolescence-related products.