VPZ, the U.K.’s largest vapor product retailer, has closed its 155 stores.
The company originally expected the U.K. to follow the example of other European countries by allowing vapor stores to remain open to prevent ex-smokers from moving back to vaping. However, the U.K. has not clarified its stance on vape shops. VPZ staff will continue to receive their full pay during the three-week lockdown.
“We are disappointed with the lack of clarification from the government regarding where vaping retailers stand,” said Doug Mutter, director of compliance and manufacturing for VPZ.
“Other European nations had recognized the work vaping specialists do in reducing the stress on health services and kept the local stores open. We had expected this to be the case and had begun investing in new processes in order to manage our business in such an environment. However, without sufficient clarification and in the interest of keeping our staff and customers safe, we have [made] the decision to close all 155 stores as of Tuesday for the next three weeks.”