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It’s time to recognise excellence, celebrate and grow

February 22, 2021

High street stores need to be ready to compete with nearby vape stores and multiples. (Credit: John Thorne)

Editor Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski sees light at the end of the tunnel

I often get the notion around this time of year that spring is around the corner and I should prepare for the imminent arrival of a Mediterranean-style standard of living.

The inevitable arrival of Storm Hubert, Esmerelda or Ian normally quickly disabuses me of my sunny optimism – most of the time March isn’t very spring-like at all.

Yet, this year, there is real reason for hope. Millions have been vaccinated, the government has mapped out a pathway to economic recovery and there has been a noticeable uplift in the number of new products launched by some of the biggest vape and next generation nicotine manufacturers.

There is light at the end of the tunnel after all.

This is why it felt so good to come together on 9 February to celebrate some of the industry’s big achievers at the delayed 2020 Asian Trader Awards. The virtual event was an opportunity to pause after so many months of unrelenting hard work and recognise the achievements of the industry during the toughest market conditions since local shops were navigating the Blitz and rationing in the 1940s.

Among those recognised was Edinburgh-based Day-Today retailer Zahid Iqbal, who won the Vape Convenience Retailer Award. Zahid was congratulated on both his ranging and product knowledge. What a wonderful thing to be able to reflect on excellence achieved in a difficult 12 months.

So, what’s next?

After this invaluable opportunity to celebrate the industry’s survival (sometimes against the odds) it is now finally time for retailers to begin working on their businesses – plotting out how to grow sales and customers in 2021.

To mark this shift in emphasis, Vape Business is changing too. From our next issue, we will be providing more of the same high-quality advice, insight and news but in the form of a monthly insert, delivered free with your copy of Asian Trader.

For all of us, it is time to embrace the future and we will be with you all the way.