E-Cigarette Company Juul Is Making Lots of Headlines
SAN FRANCISCO — Juul Labs Inc. has had a busy summer on both sides of the border.
In late July, the vapor company welcomed adult consumers to its first retail store, located in Toronto, Canada. In keeping with the local legal age to buy vaping products, visitors need to show identification before entering the store.
Given marketing and point-of-sale advertising restrictions for vaping products, it's important to have an age-restricted place to connect directly with adult smokers, the company said in a press release.
The store also services all Juul devices, allowing adult smokers to learn more about what products they find useful to help them switch.
"Our retail store will be a place where we can speak directly with adult smokers about our products, including our connected device, as they look to switch from combustible cigarettes to a less harmful alternative,” said Michael Nederhoff, general manager, Juul Labs Canada.
Another first for the company in Canada is the Juul C1. In the test phase now, the connected device can be paired via Bluetooth to a new mobile application. The app is being piloted in Canada to explore and refine its functionalities, according to Juul.
The device, when paired with the app, will include a usage monitor that provides adult smokers with greater visibility into their usage, allowing them to monitor in real-time the number of puffs they take daily, weekly and monthly.
It will also provide access restrictions at the user level to prevent unauthorized use and provides adult smokers with the ability to find their Juul device if it is lost.
"As a company, we are always looking to build on our product portfolio to reach a broader range of smokers, while limiting appeal to youth," Nederhoff said. "We believe the connected device will provide current adult smokers with features they will find valuable. Based on feedback, we plan to refine and enhance the functionality of the app to further improve the user experience."
As Juul tests new waters in Canada, the company raised $325 million in an equity and debt offering. Juul will use the financing, according to Reuters, to expand globally.
The latest funding round comes a year after Juul, which launched its products in 2015, raised about $1.25 billion to fund its growth. This past December, it received $12.8 billion when Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc. acquired a stake in the company.