2020 has been a challenging year for most of the global population. The arrival of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, has quickly spiralled into a worldwide pandemic that has infected 41.8 million people and caused 1 138 696 fatalities to date.
Most of the world’s population spent large parts of the first six months of 2020 sequestered at home under varying degrees of lockdown or shelter-in-place orders. All non-essential businesses were closed, with employees furloughed or laid off. To a large extent, many companies’ survival depended on their ability to pivot from a land-based operation to an online business model.
An excellent example of this scenario is where a brick-and-mortar vape shop has implemented an online store, so customers can shop from home instead of venturing out into public. Hence, if you face the need to stay indoors, you can always buy your vaping equipment and e-liquids online, irrespective of the lockdown restrictions and levels.
The UK emerged from its first lockdown that started on 23 March 2020 on about 4 July 2020. The summer months were almost normal in that people were allowed to move around, albeit keeping a distance of between one and two metres where possible. The wearing of masks was also mandatory in many areas.
Unfortunately, as the summer continued and moved into autumn, the virus numbers started increasing until they reached the point where the R number or reproduction number has increased from below 1 to between 3 and 6, depending on the area. The R rate is crucial to the prevention and control of the virus’s spread because it indicates the speed at which the virus is spreading amongst a community.
The consequences of the rapid increase in the COVID-19 infection rate is that many regions in the UK, including London have had an increase in the lockdown restrictions from tier 1 to tier 3. In summary, these measures include, mask wearing is mandatory for people outside their homes, no more than 6 people are allowed to congregate together, and a 10pm curfew for restaurants and pubs has been implemented.
How does this affect London’s vape shops?
This is an interesting question. And there is not much information available to provide a cogent answer. The UK government has publicly stated that it believes that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Thus, it is a good idea for smokers to move onto vaping as a way to reduce the negative health issues associated with smoking tobacco.
Therefore, let’s assume that the vape shops are able to stay open under the same rules as the retail and the hospitality industries. Consequently, let’s consider the top five London vape shops that are worth visiting on a night out.
- The Vape Emporium
The Vape Emporium is situated in North London, close to Hampstead Tube Station and the Heath. This company originated as an online store in 2013. They advertised their brand as a supplier of high-quality e-liquids, vaping kits, e-cigarettes, and vaping accessories.
A year later, the company opened its first “Vape Boutique,” in Hampstead, North London, with the stated aim of creating “a unique and personal vaping experience for our customers, to share the knowledge we had gained and sell the best quality tried-and-test devices.”
Today, The Vape Emporium is a highly rated and valued vape store where both new and experienced vapers will experience professional, friendly, and knowledgeable customer service.
- The Vaping Lounge – Windsor
The Vaping Lounge is situated in Thames Street, Windsor. While this boutique is not located within the borders of Greater London, it is close enough to the outskirts of London to fit this article’s profile. The Vaping Lounge is also 4 minutes away from Windsor Castle, allowing vapers interested in history to combine a visit to the castle and the Vaping Lounge.
The Vaping Lounge first opened its doors in 2016, intending to provide a comprehensive range of all vaping-related products. Finally, the owners only sell products that they have tested first; thereby, ensuring that everything in the store is manufactured to a very high standard.
- Vapeology – Manor Park
Vapeology is located in Romford Road, London. Its unique selling point is that it offers premium USA e-liquids not found anywhere else in the UK. The store’s interior design is apple green and white, with clean lines and a minimalistic design.
The store’s employees are friendly, professional, and keen to help both new and experienced vapers experience the USA’s e-liquids unique flavours for an optimal vaping experience.
- The House of Vapes
The House of Vapes has branches situated in Shoreditch, Notting Hill, Fulham, and St John’s Hill. Company employees understand the challenges of moving from smoking to vaping. There are always new products like e-liquids, new devices, and unique flavours coming onto the market.
It is relatively easy to get confused, deciding which products are best suited to the new and experienced vaper. Consequently, the House of Vapes’ unique selling point is that the company aims to guide users through every step of choosing, buying, and even using a vaping device and its associated products.
Smokium is located in Brick Lane, London. And it carries the moniker of being London’s best vape shop. The brand provides high-quality products across the spectrum of vaping requirements, including devices, mods, e-liquids, and other accessories. Finally, the store employs very knowledgeable, professional staff whose sole aim is to ensure that your vaping experience is sublime.