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50 High Street locations sought for retail expansion by electronic cigarettes leader

Ecigwizard, which is playing a key role in helping the nation’s cigarette smokers kick the habit, has identified at least 50 locations in the southern half of Great Britain for new retail outlets.

With lots of gloomy news on the High Street in recent months with retailer failures, CVAs and reduced demand for space, it is hoped that this active requirement will attract significant interest and opportunities.

To support this push for new opportunities, four agents have been retained regionally in the areas of search: Bristol-based Williams Gunter Hardwick will be covering the South West, South Wales and the West Midlands; FHP is operating in the East Midlands; Cradick is searching in the south; and Raven & Co is handling the area inside the M25 together with East Anglia.

The search is on for shops of 300 – 600 sq ft in high footfall locations, close to other well-known multiple occupiers. Keeping outgoings at a manageable level is crucial for the model to work, so Ecigwizard is targeting average rents as close to £20,000 per annum as possible.

However, it is appreciated that for the right slot in larger towns and cities, a bigger budget will be required – so here, rents of up to £35,000 per annum may then be considered. Due to service charge levels, it is unlikely that shopping centres will provide many opportunities.

“This is an expanding niche sector which is currently helping to drive take up in our retail centres,” says Williams Gunter Hardwick director Stuart Williams, “and there is plenty of growth still to come. In particular, many of the larger cities are currently presenting multiple opportunities for sites in central and suburban locations.”

Ecigwizard is the trading name for Electronic Cigarettes Ltd, one of the largest stockists of electronic cigarettes and e-liquids across the UK and Europe. The company, which has been trading since 2011, has a 10,000 sq ft production and head office facility in Peterborough. Its current portfolio of 45 outlets gives it a 10% geographical market share and the brand number one status within this fast growing and evolving sector. Its turnover in 2017 was in excess of £8 million.

Through supplying its existing stores as well as 600 other franchises across the country it currently has a 34% slice of a £300 million market supplying 1.3 million customers.

“Ecigwizard has a proven track record of running successful retail stores and are fitted to an exceptional standard – making them a welcome addition to many centres,” adds Stuart Williams.

Target locations include town centres and suburbs in towns to include Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Burton, Colchester, Greater and Central London, Nottingham, Reading, Sheffield and Southend amongst others. A longer target list can be viewed here: ECIGWIZARD-Retail-Requirements-2018 which is not exhaustive as other similar towns will be considered if the right opportunity arises.


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