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Disposable Vape Ban Does Not Stop VPZ From Expanding

Disposable Vape Ban Does Not Stop VPZ From Expanding

At the end of January 2024, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a ban on disposable vapes. The ban causes shock in the industry. The policy itself has not yet been implemented and is not expected to officially take effect until 2025. But, it still seems to not stop the expansion plans of some channel providers. VPZ, the UK’s largest vape retailer, is headquartered in Edinburgh, let’s see what they are doing. This British vape retailer has not slowed down its aggressive offline store expansion. And, it plans to open 23 new stores by mid-2024. After the expansion, the number of VPZ stores will increase to nearly 200.

Currently, the UK is grappling with the challenge of regulating vaping to protect youth and the environment. This vape company’s insistence on retail expansion may seem counter-intuitive. But in an interview with the media, VPZ described it as a “big step towards the future.”

Strengthening compliance vape products.

The first point is the compliance track. VPZ always focuses on the compliance market. VPZ was established in 2012 and currently has more than 160 stores. And, most of these stores are located in large shopping malls. Besides, the company has repeatedly called for improved market supervision. In March 2023, header Doug Mutter called on the British government to follow New Zealand’s lead and strengthen supervision of the atomized vape market. And, it also calls for strengthening control and permission over the sale of vapes.

Imported, unregulated disposable vapes are widely available in local convenience stores, supermarkets, and other general retailers in the UK. However, many of them have no age verification controls or regulations. Therefore, the issuance of a disposable ban may be a benefit to VPZ compared to the commercial blow. This may help this vape company maximize its compliance advantages.

Wrest back lost ground from supermarkets that focus on disposable vape products.

The second point is the channel advantage of offline stores. In terms of purchasing methods, online sales account for a certain proportion. But offline sales still dominate.

However, the supply from supermarkets and convenience stores is increasing. These two have taken away a certain market share of specialty stores.

The cost of getting vapes on supermarket and convenience store shelves is high. So, not every vape brand can afford it. VPZ is dedicated to deeply cultivating such a market segment and undertaking more vape brands. It aims at markets other than “casual vapers” who buy disposable vapes in supermarkets to ensure the choice pool of these customers.

As early as during the lockdown caused by COVID-19, VPZ led a survey. It found that 1/4 of vape users said that vape specialty stores were closed during that period because they were not classified as “basic stores.” They cannot buy their usual brands in ordinary supermarkets (which are classified as “basic stores” and open normally). So, it can be seen that this vape company is focusing on such a relatively “advanced” sector. After the disposable vape ban comes into effect, the vape consumption threshold will further increase. This may not be bad news for VPZ. In offline sales, VPZ can also get back a certain share from the supermarkets that focus on “lightweight” and “disposable” products.

Future positioning

When regulations tightened, VPZ adopted a roundabout strategy when expanding its retail footprint. It emphasizes its focus on health and sustainable development. And, consolidates its compliance advantages, and sticks to its market segments. During its operation, the VPZ store will sell “sustainable vape” as an open business concept. Besides, it has launched recycling services earlier to solve environmental problems related to disposable vapes.

But the establishment of its public relations image has not been smooth sailing. In Feb. 2023, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a ruling against VPZ. The reason is that an ad on VPZ’s website suggested “medical claims for smoking cessation”. VPZ was later told that the ad was not allowed to appear again in its current form without obtaining the relevant MHRA license. And, the company was not allowed to make smoking cessation claims for its vape products.

Now, the disposable vape ban is about to take effect. In the foreseeable future, the entire British vape market will inevitably usher in further standardization. VPZ, the vape company, may still need to continue to explore and explore its positioning in the future.

Related Reading:

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Northern Ireland to be included in UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill

Ireland plans to tax vapes from 2025 | Vape Factory China

Scotland Will Ban Disposable Vape by April 2025