There are 2 specific reasons for why we deal with companies that have dealt predominately with tobacco shops in the past.
The first has to do with the amount of impact we feel we can achieve with our primary goal. That primary goal is to simply assist people in finding that healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. Despite what a lot of people think, within the community there is a HUGE group of the population of smokers who have little to no understanding of how an e-cigarette works and will not easily walk into a vape shop without a specific reason.
By putting our products into tobacconist shops, we feel we can go directly to the source and have the greatest opportunity to get a vaping product into a smoker’s hand. This has the added benefit of being done in a place that has been safe to them for a long time. It also has the greatest opportunity of having a customer replace a tobacco product with a vaping product when it wouldn’t have been otherwise done.
We can also talk about service, and I believe we have a lot of traction still to get in that particular topic. In my personal experience, I have found dedicated vaping stores to be generally more informed than a convenience store or tobacconist shop, but it’s not always true. That boils down to an owners willingness to accept the training we offer for free and for the staff to do there due diligence on a product they sell to be able to provide the very best service they can. Customers, however, have full control. They speak with the dollars they spend and they should spend that money in the establishments and businesses they feel they trust the most and provide them with what they should be getting.
In the end, Big Tobacco cannot ignore us nor are they even bothering to try anymore. Their profits are diminishing on a quarterly basis with no end in sight. Frankly it’s only a matter of time and that’s something I think we should all be proud of.
Within our network we are constantly working with our customers to influence what products are in demand and will continue to work towards that objective. The all mighty dollar however is the fuel in which change can happen and I encourage people to step back sometimes and look at the bigger picture as these changes occur.
The second has to do with how larger corporations are influenced on a financial yard stick. If a company has been in business for several decades and starts to see a market that has been enormously profitable all those years start to slip, they look for new alternatives. If financial motivation is not palatable to you, I understand that; but the reality is it’s a powerful motivator for making change. Ask yourself this:
- Do you want to see known harmful products be upgraded to known safer products?
- Do you want smokers to have easier access to solutions or do you want them to remain ignorant to alternatives?
- Do you want to increase the total customer pool that exists in the community or do you want to keep it as a mystery?
- Do you want corporations who have been reliant on tobacco to fuel sales to sell a safer and better product to there customers?
There is a whole variety of questions I could impose but these are pretty good ones to get the ball rolling. Now when I see a store or chain of stores suddenly start carrying 2, 3 4 or even 10 different brands of liquid regardless of their motivations, I see a positive change. This to me doesn’t show me loyalty to tobacco but rather a shift in the perception of smoking and those alternatives can be carried in stores that can still show a profit. In the end, the perspective should be on what helps the greatest number of people not trying to stop it.
In the end it’s very cool to see the cliques and different viewpoints forming all over the country. It’s certainly a challenge to keep up with all the politics that happen in the industry but I enjoy every minute of it. We live in a great time with the internet able to freely keep information and viewpoints flowing and I encourage as much discussion and opinions to be processed nationwide as the industry continues to evolve.
For those that are opposed to this particular viewpoint, I am super open minded and would be happy to debate or interview on this subject. I would be interested to see the other side on this topic.