Disruptive US vape brand Juul has secured its first major UK wholesale deal with Bestway.
The deal will initially see Juul’s core range of starter kits and five pod flavours stocked in 10 Bestway and Batleys cash & carry depots from this week.
The products will be ranged in Bestway’s tobacco rooms. All Bestway customers who wish to buy Juul lines must agree to operate a Challenge 25 age verification process, and Juul will continue to monitor retailers’ compliance at store level.
The first 10 depots to receive Juul products are Bestway Abbey Road, Hackney, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Brighton, Team Valley & Exeter and Batleys Leeds and Southampton depots.
More depots will be added once the parties have tested the age verification process and are confident that it works.
“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 Juul Labs UK sales director John Patterson. “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.”
Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez said: “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.”
Bestway Wholesale trading director Kenton Burchell added: “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.”