Jody Begley, president and general manager of Nu Mark, a subsidiary of Altria, said the company made a minority investment in Avail Vapor, one of the largest vape store chains in the U.S. with more than 100 company-owned stores.
Richmond, Virginia-based Avail sells more than 100 premium Avail-branded liquids and a wide range of predominantly open-system devices. The company manufactures its own liquids in a state-of-the-art ISO-certified clean room and has a full-service analytical science laboratory to support regulatory compliance.
According to Begley, the investment is already paying off. “We’ve gained a better understanding of the vape store channel and adult open-system vapers, and have access to extensive data around adult vaper purchasing patterns,” he says. “Through their retail stores, we’ve also learned a great deal about educating adult tobacco consumers about new products—insights Altria’s companies can apply to other areas of their reduced-risk portfolios going forward.”