Restriction of e-juice samples and services to prevent infection
Hand sanitiser, limited customer contact and less tasting. Everyday life for Swedish vape shoppers as the coronavirus spreads through society.
"The test stations have been removed and we favour swish and card payments over cash. We refer customers who feel symptoms to our webshop. It is for the sake of the staff" says Niklas Sandin from eSmokes.
Vejpkollen has asked several e-cigarette shops across the country how they manage the risk of coronavirus. Shop staff are a vulnerable group because many people move around in the shops. Constant sanitisation is a must. This is something that is now becoming clear in the shops.
"We have introduced a completely different type of sanitisation of public spaces. Everything is wiped several times a day to keep the shops clean and not infectious in any way. At the same time, we offer customers a hand sanitiser on their way into the store" says Michael Karvonen who runs Vapemore with several stores in central Sweden.
Experience in servicing
Vejpshoppar is a place where users come for service. This means that customers are used to testing juices and getting hands-on service with malfunctioning appliances.
"When handling customers' products, staff must wear protective gloves. Staff do not test customers' e-cigarettes and customers are not allowed to test staff's e-cigarettes. Any close contact with customers, such as shaking hands or similar, is also strictly prohibited at this time." says Michael Fredén who runs Vapes with stores in Lidköping and Gothenburg.
Test stations and other tasting activities are also limited in the shops Vejpkollen spoke to. In some cases, there is no tasting at all.
"We could spray all the appliances in the tasting station after use. But we also don't want to expose our staff to unnecessary exposure. Therefore, we have decided to remove the test stations in all stores." says Niklas Sandin from eSmokes with stores in Malmö and Gothenburg.
Sick staff stay at home
Caution in handling money was also raised when Vejpkollen asked. Swish and cards are preferable to cash, according to the survey. Niklas Sandin.
"We encourage all customers with symptoms to order online. And to use Swish or card instead of cash as a payment method if possible." he says to Vejpkollen
At present (17 March), there are no recommendations on shop hygiene or similar from the authorities. The only direct recommendation concerns staff behaviour, which is strictly followed in the stores Vejpkollen has been in contact with.
"Staff should not be in the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms." says Michael Fredén from Vapes.
"All our staff are advised to maintain extraordinary hand hygiene and stay at home immediately upon sensing any kind of disease symptom" says Niklas Sandin from Esmokes.
Bunker e-juice and coils
Another issue that is emerging is the availability of products. At the same time as deliveries from China are a little shaky, road users are keen to stock up a little extra right now. This can be problematic for small shops without large stocks. Fredrik Blomberg runs the newly launched True Gentlemen with stores in Landskrona and Helsingborg.
"We have realised that some customers are worried about this and may have tried to stock up on some. Now we've started setting maximum limits so that products don't run out too quickly." says Fredrik Blomberg to Vejpkollen.
Vejpkollen has been in contact with most vape shops in Sweden. For reasons of space, not all answers have been included in the article. But feel free to leave a comment below on how coronavirus is handled in your stores.
In countries such as France, the government is forcing supermarkets to close down as a result of the åmeasures to combat the coronavirus.