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Covid-19 Pandemic has Impacted the UK Vape Industry

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Vaping and Coronavirus

The end of 2019, the largest health and economic crisis in recent history forced companies across all industries into extraordinary measures to protect their companies and their staff. It feels like we have lived a lifetime during this pandemic, it’s hard to believe this has only gone on for a year, there’s been many changes to the way we live and the way we shop. Can you remember enjoying your weekend by visiting the town and strolling casually around shops and actually being able to look and hold something before you make the commitment to buy it. Silly things like this we took for granted

All industries word-wide have been affected by the Coronavirus, some have benefited and seen an increase in sales but this is sadly not true for all businesses.  As the world has retreated indoors, lock-downs have caused non-essential brick and mortar stores to close which has resulted in companies being forced to shut down and people to lose their jobs. Some of the stores affected by this include many high street vape stores, people have been unable to pick up their weekly vaping supplies and have had to start looking at online UK vape stores.

Increase in E-commerce

All around the world, e-commerce has boomed since the start of the pandemic. As Governments and the media reported on the spread of Covid 19 and it was declared a Global pandemic by the World Health Organization, people started panic buying and stocking up on both essential and non-essential items. The powers of social media probably caused more damage than good when it came to videos and pictures of people panic buying. I’m sure we all remember the empty food shelves in supermarkets and don’t forget how close we were to toilet roll being sold on ebay at extortionate prices. Fingers crossed this is all behind us and we don’t have to start rationing essential items again.

Humans are very peculiar as you all fully know, but one thing we do like to do to make ourselves feel better is a bit of retail therapy. This is why there has been a boom in e-commerce sales over many industries. Covid 19 has been a bit of a wakeup call to some people, as scientist have told us, you are more likely to be affected by Covid 19 if you have other health issues, this is why people have started to look after themselves better by buying health care products and looking at a healthier lifestyle such as vitamins, exercise equipment, healthy foods and also vape kits and E Liquids to help them quit smoking.

Impact of Coronavirus and Vaping

Many of the larger Vaping companies have both an online and physical store presence which has meant that although their shop has been closed to the public, they have still been able to keep running, not business as usual but they have the means to adapt. Some vaping shops who have previously not had an online presence have quickly adjusted by creating an online web-store and learning how to do business and providing vape deals.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for all vaping companies.  Over the UK there are vaping companies which are purely just a local vape shop in the high street which hasn’t set up an online presence, as you can imagine this has meant they have not been able to continue trade and like many other stores outside of the vaping industry, they have ceased to exist.

For the companies that have remained, they knew that they had to adapt to the current climate and to get creative if they wanted to survive.  With social distancing and lock-downs in place, high-street vape stores had to close their doors but this did not necessarily mean that they had to stop working. As stock was already in the shop, creating a website meant that they were able to fulfil orders on site and to dispatch them, in order to do this some extra equipment and stationary was required. Although this would have come at a cost of both money and time, this was the difference between staying open or closing indefinitely. Some stores have also managed to set up local delivery for orders which has meant their usual customers are able to shop from their favourite local vape shop and to receive their all day vape in a timely manner. Not all but some have also allowed a collection service on orders, following Government guidelines very similar to how people can collect takeaway dinners and abiding by social distancing. Just like all local businesses in and outside of the vaping industry, we love that stores are managing new ways to continue running.

Online vape stores have also seen an increase of sales which has been great as it has meant they can continue to grow. Many companies like Jumponthevape were already running an online site that allowed customers to stock up on both their favourite E Liquids and as well as vaping hardware. People who have been forced to isolate, work from home or have just been stuck at home have used this opportunity to quit smoking with the use of POD vape kits which is perfect for starters. Online vape stores. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for all online vape stores though, measures have had to be put in to help prevent the spread, PPE for staff is essential and also additional cleaning of products before orders can be sent to customers, this all comes at an extra cost of time and money. The vaping industry has also become very competitive with UK vape deals as many companies are dropping prices to help manage their cash flow.

Problems caused by Covid 19

If Covid 19 wasn’t bad enough the vaping industry has also been affected by Brexit, getting supplies from abroad isn’t as easy as it was when we were still in the European Union. Paypal has also recently banned vaping stores from using their services, this has impacted sales as many customers use Paypal as their preferred method of payment. Paypal banning vaping is a very odd decision which has impacted many companies, especially when Paypal has refused to release companies funds for up to 180 days. Imagine your bank not allowing you to withdraw any money, how would you be expected to pay for rent, bills and food? Another difficulty that all e-commerce sites have faced is disruption from delivery services such as Royal Mail, Hermes and others. Every year around December, delivery companies have an increase of parcels to deliver. Royal Mail typically hires 20,000 temporary staff for Christmas to help process parcels during the Christmas period but in December 2020, they had to hire 35,000 more staff to help due to extra measures they’ve put in place to tackle Covid 19. Despite their efforts, there have been delays of up to 2-3 weeks for parcels sent 1st class to be delivered. Many companies have faced a loss due to refunding customers for not receiving parcels.

For years now, the world has slowly started to become very digital when it comes to shopping and the pandemic has accelerated this. With people looking at online stores who don’t have as many overheads that means they can sell products cheaper than your local store could. With vaccines being made available, hopefully we can start to get back to living our normal lives again, though I think we all agree it will never be the same, we hope it does end soon so that local businesses are able to open and start trading again. Though regardless of when it’s over what we do know is vape deals UK will always be available for people online.

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