The vaping market is predicted to grow but retailers have told Retail Express that they do not have the knowledge or support to make the most of the sector.

According to a recent research by Phillip Morris, 83% specialist vape shop owners expect the industry to grow in the coming year.

This is also the expectation from independent retailers, but they said that this does not mean transferring direct sales within the vaping category to them.

Kamal Thaker of Stop Shop News in Edgware, London, said that retailers are desperate for training and more information on how they can capitalise on the growing category.

“The market is definitely growing, but we as independent retailers are missing out on the sales,” he said.

“We need more input from suppliers. Training us is not taken as seriously as it should. If we were given the opportunity to learn and understand the product fully, I’m confident that we could increase sales too.”

Mark Stubbs, owner of Dereham Newsagents in Norfolk, said that he has not seen significant growth in his store this year due to the competition from vape stores.

“There are two vape stores very close to our shop, so it gives customer no incentive to get their vaping products here,” he said.

Phillip Morris’ research found that 71% of vape shop owners are considering to invest in staff training to improve knowledge, further increasing competition for retailers.

“Customers are more adventurous now and they are looking for a good experience when they vape. We love to promote vaping because it gives us an excellent margin,” said Thaker.

Thaker stressed that retailers are in need of more than pamphlets. He said more hands-on training is needed for retailers to unlock the opportunities within the category.

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