Study: Vape Shops Average $300,000 Annual Sales

2015 Vape Shop Index reveals strong sales, uncertainty over regulations

By 
Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

vape survey

WASHINGTON -- A recently released vape shop study shows brick-and-mortar businesses are booming, generating $26,000 in monthly sales per store. The 2015 Vape Shop Index, released by ECigIntelligence, Roebling Research, E-Cigarette Forum and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), looked at financial, product, and brand-level data, including trends, preferences and owner attitudes from 540 vape shops spanning 42 states.

“This really is the first time that the industry will have detailed independent data from vape shops, where much of the growth in the sector is now occurring, reaching more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue,” said Tim Phillips, CEO of ECigIntelligence. “As consumer preferences evolved toward open system tanks and e-liquids, we saw a need for accurate data to help shop owners better compete in today’s marketplace.”

In terms of products and sales, the survey showed e-liquids account for nearly 60% of vape shop sales, 50% of e-liquids sold are either 3mg/ml or 6mg/ml nicotine concentrations and 43% of vape shops also sell products online. Respondents indicated that while the e-liquid business is still very fragmented, hardware is becoming more consolidated.

“As the vape shop channel continues to mature, we’ll probably see more consolidation as established vape shop retailers continue to grow and expand their businesses,” said Steve Hong, a principal at Roebling Research. “There’s no doubt this channel is driving the broader category and we expect the channel to grow even bigger next year.”

The index also tracked attitudes about regulations, finding 98% of respondents support “appropriate and reasonable” regulations; however, 67% said state and local regulations are or will be harmful to their business.

“Regulations are a key concern,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA. “Anything onerous, such as the FDA’s pending final rule, could seriously impact tens of thousands of jobs.”

Despite concerns over regulations, 76% of vape shop respondents said they were optimistic about the current state of the vapor industry.