How to Start Your Own Vape Shop

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vape shop 

While the number of smokers has been decreasing across the globe in recent years, the number choosing to vape has increased considerably. In this article, we show you how to start your own vape shop.

The UK is currently the largest e-cigarette market in Europe with approximately around 2,000 vaping outlets. Alongside the supposed health benefits, the popularity of vaping can also be attributed in part to the fact that cigarette smoking is becoming socially unacceptable. Since the smoking ban made it illegal to smoke in enclosed spaces, including pubs and clubs, from 1st July 2017, people’s attitudes towards smoking have changed. The Ernst & Young survey also found that people switched to vaping as it didn’t bother their friends and family as much. So, let’s take a look at some other reasons why starting a vape shop is a smart business move and our top tips for launching your own.

Reasons why starting a vape shop is a good idea

Consumers enjoy visiting a brick-and-mortar vape shop 

The majority of vaping products are purchased from specialist e-cigarette stores. 35 percent of those questioned by Ernst & Young bought their e-cigs from a vape shop, while only 21 percent bought them online. Why not widen your customer base and offer both?

Many people consider vaping to be less harmful than cigarettes

There are many reasons why people choose to vape rather than smoke traditional cigarettes. The findings from a study performed by Ernst & Young confirmed that the most common reason for using e-cigarettes is that they’re considered to be less harmful than cigarettes. People stating that e-cigarettes are used to help them kick their smoking habit closely follow this.

Top tips for starting a vape shop

  1. Make sure you can afford it

    The costs that are involved with setting up a vape shop are rent, licenses, insurance, payroll and taxes, inventory and marketing. The overall cost will depend on the size, location and various other factors. While it can cost slightly more to invest in an existing franchise, you will benefit from a proven business model, marketing support and training programmes. 

  2. Choose the right location

    If you decide to launch a brick-and-mortar vape shop, it’s very important that you seriously consider the location. Research the local competition so you don’t set up in an area that is already oversaturated with vaping shop businesses. 

  3. Pick the best products

    It might sound obvious, but in order for you to gain loyal customers, you need to offer high-quality products at a competitive price. Make sure you keep on top of technological advancements and industry trends so you are always offering the latest, most innovative products on the market. You don’t want to damage your reputation by having to turn someone away for a product you don’t stock. 
    Then, attractively display them. Many successful vape shops use vibrant colours for displays and light shows to entice customers to come inside.

  4. Follow the regulations

    Although you don’t need a licence to set up your own vape shop, you need to be on top of the regulations. This includes not being able to sell e-cigarettes to under-18s. Many businesses, therefore, choose to operate a Challenge 25 policy. 

  5. Promote your business 

    There are strict advertising laws, so you’ll want to get creative when it comes to marketing your vaping business. Make accounts on all of the main social media platforms and gear your marketing efforts towards your target customer. Word of mouth is also very important in the vaping world. 

Vape shop franchise opportunities

It could be a great time to start your very own vape shop by investing in a franchise. You’ll get to become your own boss while benefiting from the experience and support that a franchisor can provide.


The Vapestore launched in 2014 as an online retailer. However as this leading e-cigarette franchise has built up industry expertise and an in-depth understanding of the market technologies and products, they have switched to a bricks-and-mortar franchising system.

  • Becoming a Vapestore franchisee: It’s looking for business-minded individuals that are passionate about the industry. Take a look at its client profile to find out more.

  • How much you need to invest: If you’re interested in becoming a Vapestore franchisee, you’ll need to invest £50,000. Half of this investment goes towards the purchase of your stock so that you can offer customers more products and vape flavours than your competition. Depending on the size, condition, and location of your vape shop, the price of refurbishment and fitting can be anywhere between £20,000 and £35,000.

  • What you get for your investment: You’ll receive help to set up your store and prepare for launch. To make sure you have all the expertise and knowledge you need to run a successful franchise, you’ll be thoroughly trained and have invaluable support as and when you need it. Furthermore, you’ll stand out from other vape stores with the help of eye-catching regional and national marketing campaigns.

The London Vape Company

Starting as a small, family-run business, The London Vape Company is now the fastest growing vape shop in the UK. Focusing on providing excellent customer service, as well as an extensive product range and a thorough understanding of their stock.

  • Becoming a The London Vape Company franchisee: If you’re highly motivated, driven and have a strong business knowledge you’re encouraged to register your interest. 

  • How much you need to invest: If you’d like to become a franchisee with The London Vape Company, you’ll be required to invest around £60,000.

  • What you get for your investment: Once you’re on board, you’ll benefit from help to find the ideal location for your business, a full store kit-out, access to marketing collateral, use of the London Vape Company’s highly regarded brand image, and some of the industry’s top products and e-juice flavours.

Start a vape shop today

It looks like e-cigarettes are here to stay. The Government has recently acknowledged the significant role that vaping has played in helping smokers to quit and committed to a review of the current regulatory framework. Starting an e-cigarette franchise can lead to a rewarding and profitable career combined with the freedom that comes from working for yourself.

>> Read more articles on the E Cigarette sector

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