Victory Electronic Cigarettes announces agreement with Asda Stores to expand its VIP brand to more than 500 Asda locations throughout UK over next eight weeks
SPRING LAKE, Michigan
May 13, 2014
– Expanding to major global strategic retailer, ASDA Wal-Mart with more than 500 stores in the United Kingdom
Range of VIP® Classic liquids rolling out, leveraging VIP’s® extensive premium portfolio spanning all product segments of electronic cigarettes
Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation (OTCQB: ECIG), announced today that it has reached an agreement with ASDA Stores Ltd., a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to expand its VIP® brand across the retail chain throughout the United Kingdom. The brand is rolling out immediately to the first 272 outlets, and will be expanding chain-wide over the next 8 weeks to ASDA Supercenters, ASDA Superstores, and ASDA Supermarkets.
Manchester, United Kingdom-based VIP® was launched in 2009, and over the past four years grew into one of the leading brands in the UK, with one of the broadest product portfolios that encompasses traditional rechargeables and disposables, open and closed vaping systems, tanks, and some of the highest quality and best tasting liquids. Recent market testing confirmed UK consumers significantly prefer the taste of VIP compared to other electronic cigarette brands. ASDA will be carrying four major VIP® Classic liquids including tobacco flavor in two variants, menthol, blueberry, and cherry in a range of individually sold tamper-evident, child-proof packages.
VIP® was acquired by Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation (ECIG) less than 30 days ago on April 22, 2014. VIP® has historically only been distributed online and in owned-retail stores and vaping shops, and retail mobile kiosk units. This expansion with ASDA Wal-Mart represents the first major distribution agreement for the brand, whereby the VIP® brand will now be available at ASDA outlets across the United Kingdom. VIP Classic liquids will be prominently displayed in the tobacco section at ASDA as consumers and retailers increasingly shift to ecigs from traditional cigarettes. The e-cigarette industry has grown rapidly in consumer popularity over the past two years, attracting an estimated 2.1 million "vapers" now in the UK alone, out of a total worldwide segment of more than $3 billion.
Victory CEO Brent Willis, who was previously a major supplier to ASDA at InBev and Cott Corporation, commented, “ASDA is one of the world’s premier retailers and we believe the premium VIP® brand is a perfect fit for their customers. We are humbled by ASDA’s decision to rollout the brand and will work hard to grow the brand and the overall category together with them.”
Miguel Corral and David Levin, Directors at VIP commented, “We are very proud to be expanding with ASDA, our first major retail chain, after building the business over the past four years on our own. We worked hard to build the relationship and confidence with ASDA, and are confident that consumers that love the great taste of VIP®, will love having greater access to the brand throughout the UK. “
VIP® is one of Europe’s leading brands of premium electronic cigarettes. With its full portfolio across all relevant segments within electronic cigarettes and vaping products, VIP® has grown to become one of the most recognized brands in the United Kingdom, the number one brand in Ireland, and the preferred brand in taste amongst consumers in the UK. The Company currently sells its products online at www.vipcig.co.uk, through its own flagship retail outlets, online, in mobile kiosk units, and in major retailers in the UK. The business is a member in good standing of ECITA (European Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association).
Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corporation is dedicated to providing a cleaner and healthier alternative to smoking for all, and intends to empower smokers to regain their freedom. Victory is one of the leading companies in the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry, and owns the trademarks Victory®, VAPESTICK®, VIP®, FIN®, GreenStix®, and others. The company owns multiple subsidiary companies and has operations in North America, Central America, Latin America, Western Europe, and Asia. Victory offers consumers a full product portfolio that incorporates the highest quality and latest technology, and has been rated as superior in real tobacco taste amongst major brands. Victory's experienced management team is positioned to leverage its differentiated portfolio, distinct go-to-market approach, and low-cost infrastructure to accelerate growth and drive significant value for its shareholders.
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