Big Three tobacco companies all launching wider distribution in 7-Eleven, elsewhere.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – According to a recent article in the Winston-Salem Journal, the first significant fight for electronic cigarette market share between the Big Three tobacco manufacturers will feature 7-Eleven as a key battleground.
MarkTen, the e-cigarette brand by Philip Morris USA, recently began being sold in 7-Eleven stores in North Carolina, joining blu eCigs (Lorillard Inc.) and Vuse (R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.), along with offerings from several smaller manufacturers. Reynolds began national distribution of Vuse in June, while blu eCigs has been sold in most national convenience stores for several years.
According to the article, what makes the head-to-head-to-head competition pivotal is that convenience stores are the largest retail channel for e-cigs at 75 percent of brick-and-mortar sales, or about $540 million in 2013, according to the NACS State of the Industry Report .
Philip Morris USA spokesman Brian May told the Winston-Salem Journal that national expansion of MarkTen began in June in the western half of the country. “It will be expanding eastward through the summer and fall,” May said.