One of the world’s largest online e-cig suppliers is making a concerted push into the UK off-trade with a range of cartridges, pens, pipes and liquids.

V2 Cigs claims to be America’s largest online volume seller of e-cigs, with 1.2 million customers, and in 2013 Paul Hunt brought the brand to Britain.

He is UK managing director of the firm and has built up a 20,000-strong customer base online, but now feels the time is right to move into the retail market.

Hunt told OLN: “There are 10 million smokers in the UK and 20% have tried e-cigs. There has been a threefold increase in the past two years in e-cig users. It’s a massive opportunity. A lot of sales are online but there is a big opportunity for independent retailers to sell these products.

“We tried all sorts of e-cigs and found this was the best one, so we went to Florida and asked to sell it in the UK.

“We have been selling V2 Pro online since January 2013 and we have more than 20,000 customers that have bought from us in the UK.

“Our customers tell us they want to go into convenience stores and off-licences and buy them, rather than over the internet.

“We can tell retailers how many customers there are within a certain radius of their shops based on our online sales data hot spots. We have a lot of market intelligence on buying habits.”

He believes these e-cigs are the best because the company handles all aspects of packaging, assembling and testing in-house, rather than sub-contracting parts of the procedure out, and because it offers the most information about the product.

“Every product has a batch code, tells you when it was manufactured, where it was manufactured and what the ingredients are,” said Hunt. “No other e-cig producer is doing this.”

Hunt has been selling the pens, pipes and cartridges and so on for a couple of years, but has just launched the V2 PRO Series 3 Vaporizer, which retails for £50 to £80 and is said to fulfil “all vaping needs”.

It comes in three colours and includes a magnetic USB charger and an e-liquid cartridge.

Hunt said: “People will buy the starter packs, often online, and then the big opportunity for OLN readers is to sell the liquids that top up the vapouriser. These liquids can also be used in other V2 devices [like the e-cig and the pen/pipe].”

He added: “We have 300 SKUs. We know from sales figures that 80% come through a dozen product lines. Red tobacco, congress tobacco and menthol, all in 1.8 strength and 1.2 strength, are the key lines.”