Convenience retailers are cashing in on the e-cigarettes and vaping market by installing dedicated e-liquids gantries to become a destination.

A panel discussion at the Local Shop Summit earlier this month revealed that none of the retailers present felt like they had fully mastered the category and called on suppliers and wholesalers to provide more advice.

Raaj Chandarana, one of the retailers on JTI’s ‘how to win big in tobacco and e-cigarettes panel’ told attendees that he had introduced a dedicated gantry in his Tara’s News (Londis) shop in High Wycombe and worked with his customers to learn about the category.

“There’s so much money to be made here. My most expensive mod is £42.99 and gives me a 37% margin. I’m a neighbourhood store and have had to reorder three times since I introduced them a two weeks ago,” he said.

Day-Today retailer Ferhan Ashiq has been working with his wholesaler, United, to capitalise on the opportunity in his Prestonpans, East Lothian store.

“You’ve got the 70/30 e-liquids, which tend to be for those who want the experience and 50/50, which is for smokers that are trying to quit. Nasty Juice and Psycho Juice are selling really well in 70/30 and DeBang does well in 50/50,” he told Retail Express.

Ashiq introduced the range in his store in August and is now taking £250-worth of e-cigarette sales a week.

Top tips to get started
  • 70/30 and 50/50 refer to the balance of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) in e-liquids. As a rule, PG gives a stronger throat hit and VG produces thicker vapour
  • Encourage trial of new flavours by offering a multi-buy deal, such as three-for-£12
  • Get the right strength of nicotine to suit different shoppers needs. Customers looking to quit smoking will likely go for higher nicotine.