Britain’s newest retail vape brand is set to open a flagship store and training centre in Manchester, furthering its plans to become a household name in vaping across the UK.
Red Box Vape will launch its second flagship store in Shudehill, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The first store opened in Nottingham last month.
The premises of the Manchester store will double as the company’s UK training centre. Here, 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.
The family run business began after the owners, CEO Stuart Anderson and his son James (19), of Nottingham, became intrigued by the number of tobacco smokers they still encountered despite the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping.
Stuart said: “The launch of our second flagship store in Manchester’s Norther Quarter represents months of intense work and research – and we’re delighted to see our expectations become a reality.
“As the Red Box UK training centre, we are determined that this store represents our values to the letter.”
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.
After further research, they discovered that many vape stores appeared 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 creating 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.
With Manchester and Nottingham operating as the company’s flagship outlets, several further retail locations are now being secured around the UK.
Some Red Box Vape stores will be run directly by the company’s parent company, Red Box Liquids Ltd, based in Nottingham, while others will operate 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.
Stuart said: “We’ve 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.
The Manchester launch comes only days after a report by MPs on the Governments Science and Technology Committee backed the wider promotion and acceptance of vaping as a key weapon against smoking.
Stuart added: “Our initial research highlighted that many long-term smokers were uncomfortable about going into vape shops. Some told us that they were put off by the ‘tattoo parlour’ image.
“We wanted to change all that and create a brand that professional people and women would find welcoming and non-judgemental. Judging by how popular our Nottingham store is after just a few weeks’ trading, I believe Red Box may have finally plugged that gap.