Liberty Flights has announced a renewed focus on convenience retail as the industry emerges from lockdown

The strategy, unveiled exclusively to betterRetailing by managing director Matthew Moden, focuses on helping its retail customers become experts on ranging and merchandising themselves to push their own sales, rather than relying heavily on field sales reps. 

“We have some great business coming through Spar, Costcutter and Nisa, with revenues up by 43% from symbol stores,” he said. “With more people quitting smoking, and a general trend of shoppers moving away from cloud chasing and towards pod systems, it’s a great time for convenience retailers to become destinations.”

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Last month, the company brought back its sales team, with a focus on helping retailers analyse their data and capitalise on the growth of pod systems. 

Pod mod devices like Dot enable us to target what was an Achilles heel in independent vape stores,” he said. “Previously, they may have been slightly aloof about stocking mainstream products that can be bought in convenience stores, but the tide has turned. Independent vape stores are taking lessons from convenience now.” 

Liberty Flights is supporting Dot with a voucher scheme to incentivise retailers and consumers. “Independent retailers are paying more attention to vaping and we are signing more new partnership deals with wider convenience estates. Additional income for convenience seems to be here for the long term,” he said.

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Asked whether the economic outlook had made Liberty Flights consider developing more value e-liquids, Moden said: “We’re keeping an eye on that market, but it’s not something we’re looking at yet. There’ll always be room for retailers to trade shoppers up to premium products.” 

In the coming months, Liberty Flights is looking at introducing lower-strength flavours for its Dot range, as well as three new flavours.

“We’ve got a fiercely loyal following on our Crush range, so we’re looking to test some different pricing to see how we can grow that fanbase,” he said. 

Vape Retailer

The leading vape magazine for the convenience sector, Vape Retailer’s mission is to demystify the vaping category through industry-leading insight and actionable advice.