Until recently, e-cigs have been sold through traditional tobacco stores that normally expect a keystone or 100% markup on items other than cigarettes. Though it is hard to determine the number of e-cig users in the U.S., the National Vapers Club estimated that about a million people used e-cigs last year, so it certainly is a growing segment, and the product offers c-stores an excellent alternative to cigarettes with lower taxes and much higher margins.
“In 2010 there were 750,000 units sold and that jumped to 2.5 million sold in 2011, and the market is expected to quadruple by end of 2013 to early to mid of 2014,” said Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
Close to 20 million cartridges are sold in the U.S. on a weekly basis and about 10 million disposables weekly, Kiklas said.
Both disposable and rechargeable packages have distinct markets. Disposables tend to sell best in gas stations and convenience stores where people come in and out quickly, while rechargeables are selling strongly in tobacco stores where customers have time to learn about the technology.
“There is still some skepticism on the part of the consumer and the retailer based on whether or not the FDA will get involved to a greater degree,” said Stephen Monaco, director of purchasing for Tedeschi Food Shops in Rockland, Mass. [Read more...]