Vape liquid manufacturer The Zeus Group – which supplies products to more than 700 vape stores in the UK – is making its first foray into in-person retail with the opening of a physical store in Birmingham.
The brand’s new store, Zeus Juice Outlet, will sell a full range of Zeus products, as well as discontinued ranges, exclusive hardware and limited-edition merchandise.
The Weoley Castle store’s opening on 16 October comes after Zeus Group launched a direct-to-consumer online store during lockdown which has enjoyed “huge sales success” the company said.
“We already have a strong retail presence supplying to vape stores across the country. The decision to launch our online store selling direct to consumers during lockdown proved to be a game-changer for us. Having a physical store is a great opportunity for us to continue connecting directly with local customers, offering them value and access to clearance items they can’t get anywhere else, without affecting our pre-existing partnerships with retailers who stock our products across the country,” said Zeus MD Tim Allinson, a former logistics director at Tesco.
The move defies the trend in the independent physical vape store sector, which has seen hundreds of shop closures as a result of the pandemic. According to data from The Local Data Company, prior to lockdown there were 4,003 vape shops in the UK, but only 3,571 remain open. It is estimated only 2,707 will survive the year.
The closures have come as an advantage to supermarkets and convenience retailers who have been expanding their vape juice and hardware listings.
Through the pandemic, Zeus has rebranded, launched five new flavours and produced hand sanitiser in response to demand.
“Despite a challenging few months, we have come out of the other side with stronger business relationships with both suppliers and customers alike. Launching an outlet store marks a new and exciting chapter in our ongoing domestic growth and gives us a great opportunity provide our local customers with the ability to purchase exclusive, premium vape juice at a bargain price,” Allinson added.
The south-west Birmingham store is 715 sq ft and will be managed by Nathan Curtis, son of the company’s CEO Paul Curtis who established the firm in 2011.