Economic Impact and Consumer Buying Trends Detailed In Independent Analysis of American Vape Shops  

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 16, 2015U.S. brick-and-mortar vape shops generate annual non-online sales of more than $300,000 per store, according to the 2015 Vape Shop Index, released today by ECigIntelligence, Roebling Research, E-Cigarette Forum and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA).

The index, an ongoing study of U.S. vape shops as part of “Project Vape Manifest,” analyzed financial, product, and brand-level data, including trends, preferences and owner attitudes from 540 vape shops across 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, 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.”

The index also found that more than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) were single-store owners, while 16 percent owned two shops and 15 percent had three or more stores.

Other findings include:

  • Sales of e-liquids account for nearly 60 percent of store revenues.
  • Fruit and dessert flavors were ranked as the top-selling e-liquids.
  • Fifty percent of e-liquids are sold in 3 mg/mL and 6 mg/mL nicotine concentrations.
  • Forty-three percent of brick-and-mortar vape shops sell online.

The index also revealed that nearly all respondents (98 percent) support appropriate and reasonable regulations. However, two-thirds (67 percent) of vape shop owners claim state regulations are/will be hurtful to their businesses, despite the fact that more than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents are optimistic about the current state of the vapor industry.

“Our results show that the vape shop channel is primarily made up of sincere, hard-working small businesses that contribute significantly to the economy,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA. “Results also point to the fact that regulations are a key concern and anything onerous, such as the FDA’s pending final rule, could seriously impact tens of thousands of jobs, as well as jeopardize the role vapor products play helping smokers switch to a less harmful alternative.”

Findings from the 2015 Vape Shop Index demonstrate retailers’ commitment to keeping vapor products out of the hands of minors, with 85 percent of respondents reporting the use of in-store signage to prevent underage sales. Similarly, more than half (54 percent) of vape shops do not allow minors to enter their stores and 92 percent always require ID at the point-of-sale.

The index also found that the e-liquid sector remains very fragmented and no one company dominates in terms of brand penetration, while the hardware sector is much 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, principal, Roebling Research. “There’s no doubt this channel is driving the broader category and we expect the channel to grow even bigger next year.”

Survey respondents will receive a free customized intelligence report. The full 2015 Vape Shop Index report is available for purchase at http://bit.ly/Project-Vape-Manifest-2015-Vape-Shop-Index.

About the Vape Shop Index

Project Vape Manifest is an ongoing joint project of ECigIntelligence, Roebling Research, the E-Cigarette Forum and SFATA. Data for the 2015 Vape Shop Index was collected from 540 vape shops during August 26, 2015 to October 19, 2015 by responding to a detailed survey questionnaire.

 About ECigIntelligence

 ECigIntelligence is the leading business intelligence and regulatory research resource for professionals in the e-cigarette and vapor industry, providing detailed market analysis and regulatory tracking across the globe through its online portal.

About Roebling Research

Roebling Research is a market research and strategy consultancy dedicated to the vape industry. Based in New York City, the company counts among its clients category-leading vapor companies, retailers, and professional services firms.

About E-Cigarette Forum

E-Cigarette Forum is the longest-running and largest e-cigarette community online. Founder Oliver Kershaw has worked behind-the-scenes for years to help ensure the future of the industry, including by co-founding the E-Cigarette Summit at London’s Royal Society.


The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with approximately 800 members and 16 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, importers and wholesalers.