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RED Box Vape launches its first store in King Street, Nottingham on Friday, July 27.
The family run business began after the owners, CEO Stuart Anderson and his son James (18), of Nottingham, became intrigued by the number of tobacco smokers they still came across despite the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping.
The Anderson family has had first-hand experience of cancer, and felt that vaping offered a great alternative to smokers who were struggling to quit. They wondered why so many hadn’t switched.
But after further research, they discovered that many vape stores appeared quite dark and intimidating, appealed more to a younger audience – and the customer service levels were not always good.
So, Stuart brought his daughter, Lauren Anderson (22) on board, and the three of them set about to create a brand that would demystify vaping, appear clean and welcoming, and would guarantee a “very British” standard of customer service.
This Britishness was reinforced by the use of a British icon – the red telephone box – within its branding, and a commitment to selling only e-liquids that were manufactured to strict standards in the UK. Red Box also decided to formulate and manufacture its own e-liquids under the Red Liquids brand.
Stuart said: “The launch of our flagship store in Nottingham city centre represents months of intense work – with business planning, brand design, store fit-out, stock sourcing and recruitment.
“We’ve now created a business that we think is pretty special, and we have ambitious plans to expand our network to every part of the UK.”
He said that with an estimated seven million adults still smoking in the UK, Red Box believed there was a huge, untapped market out there.
“Yet our research showed that many long-term smokers were uncomfortable about going into vape shops,” said Stuart. “Some told us that they were put off by the ‘tattoo parlour’ image. So we wanted to change all that and create a brand that, for example, professional people and women would find welcoming and non-judgemental.”
Red Box Vape is currently fitting out its second store, in Manchester, which is scheduled to open by September. This will be quickly followed by other stores as soon as suitable locations are secured.
The Manchester store will also act as the company’s training centre, where managers, staff and franchisees are placed on an intensive two-week programme to ensure they carry through Red Box Vape’s strict policy of customer service excellence.
Some Red Box Vape stores will be overseen directly by the company’s parent company, Red Box Liquids Ltd, based in Nottingham, while others will run as franchises, enabling the company to expand more quickly.
In turn, each new store will create a minimum of four full and part-time jobs, and additional head office staff will be recruited in managerial, administrative and distribution roles as the company expands.