Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 64

TOBACCO

channel, feeling the vape shop intrusion, hastily jumped into
both open systems and soon after the premium e-liquid
category, and was soon overwhelmed."
Jones pointed out that many convenience store retailers were
just becoming comfortable with traditional electronic cigarettes when the first open systems - known as "pens" - hit
the market, bringing with them "a heavy array" of e-liquids.
This was quickly followed by the next generation of vapor
products, the "sub-ohm" wave, which added higher-power,
rebuildable vapor products and premium bottled e-liquids.
Both are probably better suited for vape shops, acknowledged Spark Industries' White.
"However, the vape shop probably fell victim to the avalanche for the same reasons - too much supply and not
enough demand," he said. "There was a skit on 'Saturday
Night Live' about a family that ran the 'Scotch Boutique'
and all they sold was Scotch tape. Nothing else, just Scotch
tape. That's the vape shop of today. Selling just vapor and,
in most cases, not even disposables or kits."
Fontem US' blu believes the lower e-liquid sales in the
industry can also be attributed to a shift in consumer preferences. In the vape shop channel, consumers have moved

Some in the c-store industry believe e-liquid sales are better left to
vape shops.

toward purchasing larger bottle sizes (60 milliliters) and
away from the smaller bottles.
In 2017, blu brand products were sold in more than 100,000
outlets: 66,500-plus convenience stores, 10,950 drug
stores, 5,900 supermarket stores, 4,700 tobacco stores
and 2,100 grocery stores. In the first quarter of 2018, based
on case equivalized units, 61 percent of the company's sales
were in the convenience channel.
Citing IRI data, Jones noted that
dollar sales for vapor products in
the convenience channel for the
first quarter were up 81 percent;
unit sales were up 34.6 percent.
Most major brands, blu included, are
showing dollar sales increases this
year, he added.

π
STORAGE
SOLUTIONS

Bottom line: Too many vendors and
brands, and all makes and models
of temperamental hardware and
questionable e-liquids, are now
competing for that ever-elusive adult
smoker/vaper.
"Closed tank or cartridge systems
are just the latest product category
to invade the space," White said.
(Closed system products require no
bottles, refilling or rebuilding.)

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64 Convenience Store News C S N E W S . c o m

"The product variety is there and the
performance is there, and not just
from our brand," he continued. "From
a retailing or merchandising perspective, closed tanks systems are about
as easy to retail as cigarettes, with a
much better margin.
"Vape shops will come and go, but
the strength of the convenience
retail channel rests with its no nonsense, variety, value and time-conscious customer," he concluded. CSN


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Convenience Store News - May 2018

Contents
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - Cover1
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - Cover2
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 3
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 4
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 5
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 6
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 7
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - Contents
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 9
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Convenience Store News - May 2018 - Cover3
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - Cover4
Convenience Store News - May 2018 - U1
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