Leading US Vape brand strikes deal with UK’s largest independent wholesaler
JUUL, the US market leader in the vape channel, has announced a partnership with the UK’s leading independent wholesaler, Bestway Wholesale, to widen the distribution of its products into the independent convenience channel and help more adult smokers make the switch from cigarettes.
JUUL Labs’s mission is to improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers of which 7.4 million reside in the UK.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Bestway Wholesale to make JUUL products available to thousands of independent retailers through its Bestway and Batleys depots.” said John Patterson, Sales Director of JUUL Labs UK. “Independent retail is a key strategic focus for JUUL as we aim to make our products available in stores that are traditionally used by smokers to purchase their tobacco products. Independents and symbol retailers account for 45% of tobacco purchases but less than 10% of overall vape sales, so the opportunity for the channel is huge and we estimate it could be worth an incremental £750m a year by 2020 if convenience gets its fair share. JUUL’s deal with Bestway will help independents address this imbalance in the vaping category and accelerate JUUL’s mission of improving the lives of adult smokers.”
The deal will initially see JUUL Labs’s core range of Starter Kit and five JUULpod flavours (Golden Tobacco, Glacier Mint, Mango Nectar, Royal Creme and Apple Orchard) stocked in 10 selected Bestway and Batleys tobacco rooms* from 24th May with further depots onboarding once JUUL’s age-verification process has been tested and verified. Bestway customers who purchase JUUL products will be required to agree to operate Challenge 25, JUUL Labs’s mandatory age-verification requirement, in order to ensure prevention of access to the category by anyone under the legal purchasing age for vaping products.
The selected Bestway depots are Abbey Road, Hackney, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Team Valley & Exeter and Batleys Leeds & Southampton depots.
Dawood Pervez, Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale commented: “At Bestway Wholesale, our mission is to be the Best Way to grow our customers’ food and drink businesses.
“A key part of this is ensuring we are first to market with NPD and helping our customers keep ahead of trends in the marketplace, becoming a partner to customers and providing them with a point of difference over their competitors.”
Kenton Burchell, Trading Director Bestway Wholesale adds: “Tobacco has always been a key category for Bestway and Batleys depots – and will continue to be so – but we also have to look at emerging categories and how we can help our retail customers maximise potential opportunities, especially around the Vape category.
“We have worked extremely closely with JUUL to list the range and to ensure that we have a process in place which complies to its age-verification Challenge 25 programme including staff signing up retailers at the till point in tobacco rooms and working closely with the JUUL Field Sales Teams to ensure that the Challenge 25 programme is being adhered to. To be the first national wholesaler in the UK to stock JUUL further reinforces Bestway’s leadership in NPD within UK wholesale.”