Upcoming: Vape Business Award TBC
Home Features & interviews Four huge opportunities that will make 2020 a winning year for vape retailing

Four huge opportunities that will make 2020 a winning year for vape retailing

January 6, 2020

Photo: iStock

If your store hasn’t yet taken advantage of the vaping opportunity then it isn’t too late. In fact there are four big dates for the diary in 2020, making now the perfect time to embrace the category

Opportunities for 2020: #1 Menthol ban

When? 20 May 2020

What is it? Arguably the biggest restriction yet on the tobacco market. While plain packaging and gantry bans have restricted access to cigarettes and RYO, the upcoming menthol ban will remove from shelves the preferred smoke of 18% of the market, according to Eurobarometer. That’s nearly two million people.

EU legislation means menthol cigarettes must be removed from sale in May 2020. Paulgrecaud/Dreamstime.com

What can you do? The vaping category is perfectly placed to capitalise on what is an otherwise challenging shift in the law for convenience retailers. Long-time menthol smokers only have one choice if they wish to continue getting their nicotine hit with a menthol taste: vaping.

There are some easy things you can do to ensure you and your business is ready:

  • Educate your customers Make sure that Mike, who always comes in for his 20 menthols every morning, doesn’t have a nasty surprise. Let regular customers know what’s about to happen and how vaping can help.
  • Stock the right brands Smokers are brand aware and brand loyal. Stocking the right range as they switch to vaping will help them pick the right product and stop them walking past your store if you don’t have it.
  • Educate your staff Make sure your team is ready to answer questions from concerned smokers. They will not only be ambassadors for the vaping category but will ensure your store remains a regular destination for these customers.

 How will Vape Business help?

Over the next five months Vape Business will be sharing best practice advice on the vaping category. We will be reporting on the latest product development and profiling retailers who are maximising the profit opportunity this fast-moving category represents. We will be your champion in the vaping market while championing the vaping market to you. Sign up to our weekly newsletters here.


Opportunities for 2020: #2 New Year’s Resolutions

When? Right now!

What is it? Quitting smoking is the hardest new year’s resolution of all, according to the Royal Society of Public Health. Their data shows that three-in-five people have started smoking again by 31 January and fewer than 13% are smoke free 12 months later. Help is at hand, however: the evidence is building that vaping can make a real difference in helping smokers quit.

London’s New Year firework display (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

What can you do? Peer-reviewed studies have found a strong correlation between vaping and quitting – making it an invaluable tool to quitters. In one study, 18% of quitters who used e-cigarettes were successful versus just 10% who used traditional methods such as patches.

Here are some ways you can make your store supportive to new year quitters:

  • Get to know your quitting customers If a regular customer is trying to stop smoking, let them know about your vaping range and be ready to introduce them into the basics of how the category works.
  • Focus on availability Just like in the tobacco market, retailers will come to rely on you for their favourite products. And just like with the tobacco market, failure to have the right vaping product in stock could see customers walk on by.
  • Make your range visible With more customers entering the market, putting your range in a customer’s line of sight will help new customers to see your store as a destination. Fortunately, suppliers are keen to get their units on retailers’ counters, putting stores in the driving seat when negotiating terms.

How will Vape Business help?

We’re here to answer your questions, provide advice and give you access to all the latest news in the vaping market. As you and your team focus further on this profit-driving opportunity, we will be providing you with all the tools you need to succeed. Sign up to our weekly newsletter for more information.


Opportunities for 2020: #3 Vapril

When? April

Photo: iStock

What is it? Vaping awareness month will be in its third year in 2020 and has become a major date in the calendar since Public Health England (PHE) got behind the vaping category. Like lobby group Action on Smoking and Health, PHE now sees vaping as an important tool in the fight for smoking cessation. According to their numbers, the category is responsible for at least 22,000 people giving up each year.

What can you do? The industry has got fully behind Vapril and this makes it a perfect opportunity to build partnerships and utilise the support of suppliers big and small. The UKVIA (United Kingdom Vaping Industry Association) is one of the key players and runs a “Switch on to vaping” campaign for consumers.

With the opportunity lasting a full month, it’s worth making some preparations ahead of time:

  • Contact the UKVIA This trade association helps consumers make the switch to vaping through support given via affiliated stores. By working with them you could become a destination for customers who are new to the category.
  • Ask the industry for support With most major suppliers having supported Vapril in 2019, it is likely they will be more than happy to offer advice and ideas for your businesses as this Vapril approaches.
  • Get your customers ready E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than traditional, combustible cigarettes. Letting your customers know the health benefits of switching (not to mention the financial ones) might make them consider vaping this Vapril.

How will Vape Business help?

In the run up to April, we will bringing together insight and advice from across the industry to help you improve your vaping range and build a reputation for excellence among your customers. Through our events we will also help you to build relationships with experts who can help you improve your category management and knowledge just in time. With the arrival of the menthol ban in May, this Vapril will be more important than ever.


Opportunities for 2020: #4 Stoptober

When October

What is it? Public Health England’s 28-day stop smoking campaign. The campaign now uses technology to assist smokers on their quitting journey with an app, daily emails and Facebook messenger all part of the plan. Additionally, there is face-to-face help available from ‘stop smoking’ services. The campaign is now part of the government’s wider One You healthy living campaign.

The annual Stoptober campaign helps thousands to quit smoking each year.

What can you do? With the government’s backing, Stoptober has become a campaign with high levels of public awareness and wide participation. As with Vapril, it is likely that your customers will be using this opportunity to kick the habit and, by having the right products available, you can play an important role in their switch.

Taking advantage of this 28-day opportunity could safeguard your profits and make you a local destination:

  • Help customers navigate the category With so many products available, vaping can be intimidating. Helping them find the right product is vital.
  • Find out what’s happening locally GPs, community centres and even libraries offer support to quitters. Could they reference you as a place to top up on vaping products?
  • Make sure your staff are ready If you are out of the store, will your customers receive the same level of expert service and advice? Make sure your team is ready.

How will Vape Business help?

By October, Vape Business will have provided you with months of advice and updates on this fast-moving and fast-growing category. With the arrival of the ban on menthols and the impact of Vapril and this January’s new year’s quitters still going strong, we hope that you’ll be expert retailers with healthy vaping profits by known.