With the shutters now down on tobacco gantries across the country, this could be the time to highlight e-cigarette displays.
A month on from the introduction of the tobacco display ban, the counters of Scotland’s c-stores look like very different places.
Tobacco products and accessories have been hidden from sight and in their place are grimly practical shutters and, sometimes some adjacent space that’s ready for a new role.
However, the ban doesn’t apply to e-cigarettes and vaping products, and some vaping providers say that presents important merchandising possibilities.
“The recent tobacco display ban gives retailers an opportunity to really focus part of their counter display on electronic cigarettes,” said Paul Hunt, managing director of V2 Cigs in the UK. “E-cigs offer cost savings and good margins for retailers when compared to traditional cigarettes and retailers should therefore look to ensure that their PoS is located within easy view of the consumer to engage and educate them on this healthier alternative to smoking.
“We have some fantastic products to offer retailers as well as some exciting product developments in the pipeline, like the launch of our V2 PRO Series 7 at the end of May that is sure to be hugely appealing to vapers.”
• Blu UK argues that all retailers selling tobacco cigarettes should sell e-cigarettes.
“The category is continuing to grow quickly as adult smokers explore alternatives to traditional tobacco products, and the margins are great,” said CEO Jacob Fuller. “What’s more, the shutters are going down on cigarette gantries so e-cigarettes are going to be the most obvious and visible option to adult smokers.
“Blu UK recommends that e-cigs should be ranged near traditional tobacco products and accessories. This makes it simple for shoppers to locate them because e-cig consumers are adult smokers, who are going to be looking at the tobacco gantry.
“Sitting the display on the counter top is the best location as it is near the tobacco gantry but close at hand and noticeable for adult smokers considering an alternative.
“Also, because the e-cig products have a relatively high price point in a convenience store, it is wise to limit display stock by topping-up the display with reserves from the stock room, or under the counter.
“Consumers in the UK are increasingly using refillable e-liquid tanks with rechargeable batteries, which sees them moving away from the original disposable e-cigarette options. However, to give consumers and shoppers maximum understanding of the market and to offer them the best level of choice, retailers should stock all formats and list more than one brand.
“We have designed our PoS units to clearly segment the electronic cigarette products of rechargeable, refills and disposable products, allowing the shopper to easily identify the right product for their needs.”
• While the number of vape stores may be increasing, Nicoventures, the company behind Vype ePens and eSticks, reckons many consumers will continue to buy wherever is most convenient.
Nigel Hardy, Nicoventures’ head in the UK and the Republic of Ireland said: “A convenience retailer can help with consumers who are starting their vaping journey. That means training staff in the workings of each product as well as being able to advise on flavours. Retailers will attract consumers and build loyalty by stocking the new SKUs in their chosen brands.”
• Philip Morris-owned Nicocigs Ltd recommends retailers at least keep both types of e-cigarettes – cig-a-likes and vapourisers – in stock, saying there is demand for both.
Its own brands in each category are Nicolites and Vivid Vapours. A spokesperson commented: “Nicocigs Ltd can provide a compact dual stand containing both of these brands which can be placed on the till counter for optimum results. “We find that our classic tobacco, menthol breeze and berry blast flavours are the most popular under the Vivid brand and that the tobacco and menthol Nicolites cartomisers are best sellers.”