Bolton-based vaping supplier Aquavape has launched a new vape ‘store within a store’ concept for convenience store owners.

Director Ebrahim Kathrada announced the new designs to betterRetailing and outlined a target of opening the format to 400 stores in the next two years.

He said: “Unlike most suppliers that focused on vape shops, we’ve always supported convenience stores. With standalone vape stores closing due to business rates and other high overheads, the next step is to give convenience stores a format that can deliver the same range and efficiency.”

Independent retailers Avtar Sidhu and Amrit Singh were the first to have the format installed.

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Those who sign the three-year agreements with the supplier receive the installation and equipment for free, in return for exclusively stocking the Aquavape brand.

Kathrada said a ‘digital assistant’ cuts staff training and hours needed by the format. “Our interactive screen is the first in the world for vaping.

“It guides customers of all experience levels by asking questions before making recommendations,” he said. “Customers can even purchase through it and take a voucher to the till to get the product.”

Amrit Singh, owner of Nisa High Heath in Walsall, told betterRetailing: “Sales have been really strong in what before was a bit of a dead space in store.

“We’re getting customers taking up vaping for the first time based on how good it looks – they like that they can search for themselves.”

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