Understanding the e-vapour category with  blu

blu ecigs range


The vaping opportunity

  • The vaping retail market is worth almost £160m in the UK and £15.7m in Scotland
  • Open systems represent 55% of the market and e-liquid sales are up 32% on last year and up 36% in Scotland
  • blu is the number one open system brand in the UK and in Scotland
  • Consumers are spending an average of £38 each per month on vaping products
  • There are nearly three million vapers in the UK (source ASH Report 2017)
  • Current category margins are between 25% and 50%
  • PHE say “Vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes”

blu believes that the vaping category presents one of the biggest opportunities convenience retailers have seen in a long time. The interaction that convenience retailers have with their customers is a huge positive for consumers. Recent research has identified that for new vapers, the convenience channel is their first port of call. The best way to tap into these consumers is to upskill store staff and educate them on the category and the different products available. Recent research has shown that only 1/3rd of vaping consumers feel they are knowledgeable about the category and are looking to retailers to give them help and advice. Lack of basic category understanding by staff is resulting in consumers leaving stores empty handed.


  • Boost your understanding of the category
  • Ensure staff know the basics of the products that are stocked
  • Offer and display a strong range of devices, accessories and refills
  • And talk to your shoppers about it

You will also be able to maximise the sales opportunity that the category presents through stocking accessories for the open systems you stock. Clearomisers are the key one – as consumers are advised to change them on every second liquids bottles and every change of flavour. So make sure you ask every customer who buys a bottle of liquid if they need a new clearomiser to drive additional sales!

[rev_slider vaping]
E-liquid + accessories = higher sales

The top five e-liquid flavours for the UK (2016 sales)

The World Health Organisation recently acknowledged that flavour is one of several significant product appeal factors that influence the willingness of smokers to try vaping products.Vaping flavour chart

Top convenience store merchandising tips

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1. Be visible
You can still display, advertise and promote vaping products in store. Countertop units are a great way to drive visibility in store or, if space is limited, an impactful back wall display will do wonders to showcase your whole range

2. Be knowledgeable
Make your store a destination outlet for vapers by being knowledgeable on the category and different products available. blu has a range of education leaflets to help offer advice for retailers so don’t hesitate to contact your Imperial Tobacco rep for further information

3. Stay stocked up
Make sure you’re always fully stocked with at least two or three of the top brands. If you don’t have a product in stock, customers may go elsewhere and not return

4. Don’t forget about clearomisers
They are a great way to upsell and drive additional sales and margin. Consumers should change their clearomiser after every two bottles of e-liquid, or with every change of flavour or brand to maximise their vaping experience

5. Stock a variety of flavours
Flavour is one of several significant product appeal factors that influences the willingness of smokers to try vaping products, so stock up on a range on a variety of flavours. The blu e-liquids range also includes 1.6% and 0.8% nicotine levels to meet a range of vapers’ needs

Sources: Nielsen 52 w/e 15.06.17, blu Global Brand Tracker (July 2016), ASH 2016, Based on blu audit, Public Health England. E-cigarettes: an evidence update (2015). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update and 100K Campaign Survey data presented at the UK Parliament All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on e-cigarettes by Dan Marchant from Vape Club 2016-01-27