Start with counter displays.

KamaI Thaker says: “I wanted to get higher profits and make a bold statement with my vaping range, so putting it on the counter made sense. As my customers get more used to using my store for vaping products, I’ll put the whole range together in a gantry.”

Merchandise behind the counter.

Harj Dhasee says: “For me, vaping is always going to be positioned behind the counter. I’ve got an all-in-one Vape Station display solution, so if a new product or brand doesn’t fit into that, it’s very difficult for me to list it.”

Bring your range together.

“Every manufacturer has their own counter PoS, so it’s tough to bring it all together. We need to stop merchandising by brand and bring it together in one display to take a category approach, ” Thaker adds.

Expert view: Mustafa Mohammad Zaidi, retail engagement manager, BAT UK

“Whatever display you go for, it has to be a category solution. Whatever you have in place has to be flexible to the different product pack sizes, so you can react quickly to trends.

“Our vaping gantries are designed to provide maximum utilisation of space and c.ause minimum impact to retailers when installed.

“With the menthol ban just around the corner, we have created a specific planogram that focuses on menthol and alternatives, which is designed to help retailers meet all their customers’ needs.”


Price with confidence.

“We’ve tried £1 e-liquids before, and they didn’t really sell for us. Customers thought they were dodgy because they were so cheap,” says Melen Lakhani

Merchandise behind the counter.

“Surprisingly, it’s not tobacco that are our most popular flavours,” says Jey Sivapalan. “I find that ill fruit favours are most popular as people wanting to quit smoking want to get away from the taste.”

Other choices.

“About 30% of my vape customers buy small e-liquids and pods, with about half buying bigger bottles,” says Lmtiyaz Mamode. “But you have to make sure you are catering for different preferences.”

Expert view: Brad Rogers, acting head of field force, BAT UK

“The normal customer journey from smoking does not start with e-liquids. It used to start with cigalikes, but now we’re finding more often customers go to closed pod systems first, like Vype ePod. A lot of people don’t find it convenient to carry a little bottle in their pockets and mix e-liquids themselves.

“The research we’ve carried out suggests that the average consumer uses two devices. They’ll have a bigger, open system at home, which can be a pain to carry around all the time, and then potentially two closed systems with them – one for the car and one on their person, for example.

“When it comes to favours, you could keep growing your gantry to accommodate all the varieties, but unless you give space to quality, you’ll be adding lines for the sake of it.”

Staff training

Always keep learning.

Vip Measuria says: “I train my staff with what I learn from other retailers, suppliers and trade press. With the menthol ban, customers aren’t hearing about it through the media, so it’s fallen on us and our staff to tell them.”

Use the tool available.

Anita Nye says: “I don’t smoke, so l find it hard to know what to pass on to my team. We use supplier tools to train my staff, which gives them confidence in selling. We aren’t concerned about selling tobacco as much anymore.”

Create staff advocates.

“I had no idea about the science! behind the claims that Vaping is less harmful than smoking before today,” Measuria says· “This will be useful to pass on to my team to make them advocates for switching smokers.”

Expert view: Robin Stephenson trade marketing representative, BAT UK

“There are now so many flavours and strengths, there is something for everyone. If 8mg of nicotine is too harsh for a customer, retailers can recommend 12mg for example. For a heavy smoker, we recommend 18mg. We find that smokers will start on the higher strengths and work their way down. Then there’s the shopper who smokes less often, so may start on 12mg.

“For menthol smokers, it depends on how harsh they are. Some will want a higher strength, but others will start on 12mg or lower. If you don’t smoke, consider getting your staff to ask customers who buy vaping products regularly why they buy what they do.”

Thank you Raj Aggarwal

This event took place in March and was also attended by Raj Aggarwal before his passing. As on so many occasions, Raj’s expertise and insight was invaluable to everyone in the room. Once again, Retail Express and BAT UK want to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

The Attendees

Sessions lead by Newtrade Media

Chris Dillion

Editor – insight

Samantha Gunston

Head of events

Tamara Birch

Insight report

BAT UK experts

Mustafa Mohammad Zaidi

Retailer engagement manager

Brad Rogers

Acting head of field force

Robin Stephenson

Trade marketing representative


Kamal Thaker

Stop shop News

Harj Dhasee

Nisa Village Stores

Vip Measuria

One Shop Draycott

Jey Sivapalan

1 Stop Convenience

Meten Lakhani

St Mary’s Supermarket

Anita Nye

Premier Eldred Drive stores

Imtiyaz Mamode

Premier Wych Lane