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    Hartlepool-based vape wholesaler shows remarkable growth

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    Hartlepool-based vape wholesaler Phoenix 2 Retail has been applauded as Tees region’s best businesses.

    Phoenix 2 Retail continues to increase its turnover rapidly – despite the challenges of an industry facing tougher regulations. The firm emerged as one of the biggest winners from VelociTees – the annual awards scheme for the Tees region’s best businesses in terms of job creation and turnover, held in association with Azets.

    Phoenix 2 Retail won not only the Turnover – Large Business category, sponsored by Savage Silk, but the VelociTees for the best overall turnover performance, having rocketed from £4.8m to more than £90m in a year – an increase of more than 1,900 per cent.

    Last year, the firm also bagged two awards at the inaugural VelociTees, winning the Job Creation – Large Business and the overall Job Creation titles.

    Speaking at this year’s event, Phoenix 2 Retail founder and CEO Chris Kelly revealed the very latest figures, revealing another bumper annual rise – from £90m to £160m.

    “It’s challenging,  working in the vaping industry – we’re going through more regulation changes so it’s all about making sure we’re on the front foot and doing the right things,” local reports quoted Kelly as saying.

    Those right things, Chris explained, included launching the industry’s first recycling scheme for vaping products and developing the industry’s first pre and post-market testing programme, to ensure the products the firm sells are of the highest standard.

    Working with lots of brands rather than owning one, building an experienced team and “being really collaborative with our customers” were among the reasons Kelly cited for the firm’s ongoing success.

    “We work with some of the biggest businesses in the country – Tesco, Booker, Sainsbury – but we try and work in collaboration instead of just trying to sell them product.”

    Despite impending tougher vaping rules, Phoenix 2 Retail remains well placed to “try and validate what, for me, is the world’s biggest public health opportunity.”

    “We know that for every three people that smoke, two will die. We have the opportunity to sell a product that’s 95 per cent less harmful than combustible cigarettes so we’ll just keep on that mission and push forward.”

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