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Study Finds Low Percentage Using C-Stores For E-Cigs, Vapors

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:02 pm

A recent study by V2 found that only 8 percent buy their e-cigarette components and accessories at convenience stores. When respondents were asked where they most frequently bought e-cigarette components or accessories, “Tobacco/Smoke Shop” was the most frequent response with 37 percent. Twenty-seven percent of those polled said they made these purchases primarily at a “dedicated vape shop,” and 26 percent chose “online.” Just 2 percent chose “supermarket” as their main point of purchase.

“This is clearly still an untapped market for retailers—especially c-store retailers—as most aftermarket products are sold in smoke or vape shops,” said Michelle Blair, VP of sales at V2. “These retailers are taking advantage of the opportunity, with more than 8,500 vape shops, for instance, having been created since 2008. Savvy c-store retailers should see this growth as a sign of the revenue and market potential.”

Those who did not choose a convenience store as their main place to buy e-cigarette aftermarket products were asked to select reasons for shopping elsewhere. The explanation chosen the most was “I rarely see e-cigarette accessories for sale at convenience stores” at 50 percent. “I don’t often shop at convenience stores” and “Other purchase points are more convenient for me” were each selected by 23 percent of those who don’t buy e-cigarette accessories at convenience stores.

“These numbers show that convenience stores have yet to capitalize on the potential of this growing customer segment,” Blair said. “Aftermarket electronic cigarette and vaporizer products represent a promising, albeit overlooked, opportunity for c-stores that they simply can’t ignore.”

When respondents were asked to pick which types of accessories they had previously purchased, the most common answers chosen were e-liquid and batteries, with 71 and 59 percent, respectively. Fifty-four percent selected e-liquid cartridges, 49 percent said they had bought a tank and 48 percent said they had purchased a charger. Cases were chosen by 31 percent of those surveyed, with mods and drip tips as the least common choices, at 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

“The possibilities for aftermarket product sales for electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are numerous,” said Blair. “In addition to e-liquid, there is real revenue potential in sales of component parts and accessories, like batteries or carrying cases. Post-market maintenance of e-vapor devices offers a sizable retail opportunity with the markup on accessories typically 200 to 400 percent. The recurring sales potential adds up to a very profitable picture for any retailer who can attract loyal vapers.”

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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