“Vape and Juice staff are our heroes in the business. If it wasn’t for their knowledge, creativity, skills and customer service, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
So says David Mason, the co-founder of the electronic cigarette retailerthat calls itself the UK’s local vape shop.
It is for this reason that Vape & Juice wanted to be the first vape shop brand to ensure that the living wage accreditation is in place. By providing the living wage opposed to the national minimum wage, ensures businesses are meeting the living needs of their workforce in a world of inflating prices.
“As the world has recently moved online with lockdowns, our online vape store has boomed and we wanted to reward those who have gone the extra mile for us. Or just say thank you to those who stuck with us while having to go on furlough.” David says.
In April 2019 the Low Pay Commission estimated that there were 2 million workers paid at or below the minimum wage. The living wage is around £2-£3 more an hour than the minimum wage and is defined as the minimum income needed for someone to meet basic needs including food, housing and things like clothing. This varies in and out of London, but it is still considerably more than the minimum wage.
The retail industry is well known for paying minimum wages to staff and in some cases having high turnovers of personnel. Neither of which Vape & Juice think are good for business.
“We have always been firm believers in you pay more, you get more. Back in 2013 when Vape and Juice started, we never had a problem recruiting staff both in stores and behind the scenes. We offered what we thought was acceptable, which was always more than our competitors.
This core value meant that we found some brilliant team members who were motivated to help the business thrive. Some of these staff members were so passionate about the brand they went on to set up franchises and others have stayed with us for years and progressed within the company.
Even though now we have moved from offline to mostly online our ethos hasn’t changed. We kept some great people around us and wanted to make a commitment to them as a business to provide a living wage. Not only does this show we value our staff, but also incentivises them to stick around with the vape business and help us to keep evolving.”
Like any business, having individuals who are advocates of your industry is always going to ensure you can offer enhanced customer experiences and it’s this that forms the bedrock of David and his team’s take on why the living wage is an important move. Their staff have helped thousands of people on their quit smoking journey, while their customer service focus has enabled them to retain a large percentage of their customer base when stores have been closed..
“If you are marketing focused, a fan of vaping or CBD, interested in e-commerce and looking for opportunities within a tight knit growing brand we are always open to enquiries.”