In 2016, the French e-cigarette market reached €430 million, up 20 million compared with 2015, which represented a little more than 2 million vapers. The French market is considered as one of the most developed e-cig markets in the world. It is quite mature with a high degree of competition. Vape store closures and consolidations are already taking place, the number of vapers has reached its peak and seems to be stalling.
French vapers focus most particularly on quality when they buy their products and the e-liquid market is dominated by French brands.
In France, most vapers (60%) purchase their products from vape stores. There were between 2000 and 2500 vape stores in 2015. But many closures took place and now it seems that there are only between 1200 and 2000 stores left. J Well Stores, Clopinette, Vapostore, Yes Attitute, Cigaverte and Point Smoke are major actors in the offline retail business. Let’s focus a little bit on Clopinette. The company was created in 2011 and has today almost 90 stores out of which 45 franchises. They employ more than 200 people for a turnover of close to €22 million in 2016. Between January 2016 and January 2017, Clopinette has registered a 20% increase in its activity level and has set a new and ambitious goal: reach 200 stores by 2020.
30% of French vapers go online to purchase their vaping products, on multi-brand websites.
The remaining 10% will go to traditional retail stores such as tobacconists. In 2016, estimates assess that around 90% of tobacconists are selling e-cig related products, but most offer a small variety. The tobacconist association recently advised its members to increase their sales of e-cigarettes. So we may see an increase of their share in the months to come.
France: mature, competitive market dominated by open systems, ECig Intelligence, 08/11/2016