The goose that lays golden eggs ? This is how some economic specialists define the opportunity represented by the opening of a vape shop a few years ago. Today, things seem to have changed and the strong growth of electronic cigarette stores seems to be coming to an end.
According to a survey carried out by De Standaard, the number of specialty stores stabilize after several years of strong growth. " The market was oversaturated ", Explain Tim Jacobs, owner of the channel vapor shop. " Investors thought they had found the goose that laid the golden eggs. Overnight, there was no longer a city without a store specializing in electronic cigarettes. ».
In Belgium, some channels have already disappeared, such as Dampwinkel, which had eight stores in key cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Leuven, but which recently declared bankruptcy. However, one should not jump to conclusions: the competitor Dampshop, for example, recently announced its intention to expand into Wallonia.
However, Tim Jacobs concedes that growth is slower than before. However, he sees more and more traditional smokers turning to e-cigarettes as a “help” to quit smoking for good. According to Michael juchtmans, spokesperson for the sectoral federation VapeBel, the market is effectively reaching saturation point. " Especially since today, in addition to specialty stores, supermarkets and bookstores also sell e-cigarettes and accessories. ».
However, the vape is still so popular! British American Tobacco even recorded an increase in sales of its e-cigarette by 190% last year. However, the spokesperson, Pieter Van Bastelaere, did not disclose its share of total revenue. " What is certain is that the e-cigarette remains an innovative product, which will be used more and more to replace conventional cigarettes. We continue to do everything we can to offer our customers an alternative. »