VPZ, the UK’s largest vaping retailer, has officially opened its new store in Bridgend bringing with it a £50,000 investment in the town and creating five new jobs.
Bridgend will be VPZ’s second store in Wales after opening its first in Cardiff at the start of 2018.
Alongside Bridgend an additional three new sites will open over the coming months with new stores in Port Talbot, Newport, Swansea all set to follow in April.
The investment has been announced as VPZ forges ahead with growth plans to treble its store footprint to 300 in the UK by 2021.
Director Doug Mutter said: “The opening of the new Bridgend store is a sign of our intent to grow the number of shops we have across South Wales.
“At a time when many businesses are disinvesting from High Streets across the country, we are committed to creating jobs and investing in local communities like what we are doing here in Bridgend.
“We are already well established in Cardiff, bringing our customers the widest range of quality approved products, backed by a personalised service that brings a knowledgeable and well-informed experience.
“Our new stores now give us a greater reach and platform to engage and educate even more smokers on the benefits of switching to vaping.”
The growth plans in Wales have been announced as mounting evidence shows that vaping could become a key weapon in the NHS’s stop smoking strategy.
Public Health England estimates that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Latest figures also show that approximately 2million people in the UK have already quit smoking by switching to vaping, with 500,000 more presently trying to switch. Furthermore, Cancer Research UK estimates that there are currently 9.4million smokers in the UK who can still potentially switch to vaping.
With the new sites being launched during National Vaping Awareness month, April, VPZ is offering the first 100 customers to each of the new stores a free e-cigarette starter kit.
Doug added: “Vaping represents a huge public health opportunity and the market will continue to grow as increasing numbers of smokers recognise its effectiveness in helping people to quit smoking.
“Consumer education is crucial too and our knowledgeable staff are always available with advice that helps make it easy for smokers to make the switch and give up cigarettes once and for all.”