The Vapour Trail store that opened in Bible Hill about a month ago is already enjoying brisk trade in tobacco products, as is its counterpart in Amherst that opened a week later.
Both stores sell products such as vape kits, juices and other e-cigarette alternatives to smoking. The Vapour Trail is currently Canada’s second biggest liquid tobacco retailer with a goal of becoming the country’s largest – which means expanding to new locations like Bible Hill.
“The business was started on the basis of education – this industry is constantly evolving and it’s relatively young – so we strive to ensure that the products we sell are sourced from the most reputable suppliers available,” said operations manager Jody Watts.
The store at Amherst is next to The High Road hemp supply shop, which sells marijuana-related products and is partnered with The Vapour Trail.
However, the stores must be kept separate from one another with a wall between. Strict tobacco regulations mean anyone who steps in The Vapour Trail cannot see any location selling products like marijuana accessories.
As such, Canada’s impending marijuana legalization will not seriously impact The Vapour Trail’s operations.
Separate vapour and marijuana store locations can be kept near each other, so long as a proper divide is in place.
Watts did not rule out a similar such pairing for his company’s Bible Hill location, but there are no such plans yet.
“Potentially, if the right geographic footprint becomes available, but unfortunately, we were not given the option at that specific location,” said Watts. “We’re very excited to be in the area.”
Watts added it was important to fight the remaining stigma around vaping products, which he said could be done by building a reputable and trustworthy national brand.
Another tool is educating consumers on alternatives to traditional tobacco-smoking. According to The Vapour Trail’s website, staff will take customers through its wide range of products until they find one they like. This includes a selection of 150 juice flavours and a range of nicotine levels for customers to choose from.
The Vapour Trail has 11 locations – nine in Nova Scotia: Bible Hill, Amherst, New Glasgow, Antigonish, New Minas, Yarmouth, Sackville, Cole Harbour and Halifax – and two others, in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Quispamsis, N.B.
Watts said the idea to start a chain of vapour stores came after one of its owners took a vacation in Florida and saw a similar operation there.