Halo Retailer Spotlight: Magic Vapor Shop of London, KY
Jerry Wayne, CEO of Magic Vapor Shop, started selling vaping products in a parking lot before the cold chased him indoors. Now he owns six bustling stores …
Halo: Where did your store name come from?
Jerry: I told my wife that I just quit smoking. She’s like, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before.” And I said, “No, this stuff is like magic.” Then the next day I told her we’re going to open up a store and sell this stuff. And she said, “No you’re not. You’ve got to be kidding me, right?” She knows that once I set my mind to something it’s pretty much done. But it was a no-brainer, the word “magic” and it’s a vapor shop. So, it was magic to me and it was Magic Vapor Shop.
Halo: How long have you been in business?
Jerry: I started in a flea market parking lot and took it from there. We opened up Black Friday of 2011 and I was probably at the flea market for four weeks before I started getting too cold and I broke down and rented a place.
Halo: Do you have more than one Magic Vapor location?
Jerry: We have six active, and one that’s in limbo over a little ordinance. I’m fighting them in newspaper and radio ads right now. We were pretty pumped to open up a new store. It should’ve been opened by today, but I had to put it off because of (that) ordinance. We’ve taken some stores from 800 square feet to 2,400 square feet because we just outgrew it so fast.
Halo: What do you like best about selling vape products?
Jerry: A lot of (customers), after a month they can’t stand the smell of someone else smoking. And not because of me. I’m just a guy (who) knew that it was a great product. I just knew it was the future.
The government will get ahold of this and they will tax this and they will make us like it. In Pennsylvania they’re threatening them with a 40% tax. They’re going to make us happy about being taxed. They’re smart. They threatened them with the end of the world scenario. And now they’ve backed off and everybody’s happy to be paying tax. This was the plan all along.
Halo: What do you want customers to know about your store?
Jerry: One thing I’m proudest about is that we never run out of anything, because we have a warehouse and we have six locations. If we get in a tight bind in between deliveries, then we go to another Magic Vapor store. People love that. And we carry almost every coil that there is available.
And customer service. We have three guys on the floor in every store all day long, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. If we get a newbie in there, sometimes it’s an hour-and-a-half we’re spending with them individually.
Halo: What’s your customers’ favorite Halo flavor?
Jerry: Tribeca’s got to be the favorite, and right next to it is Kringle’s Curse. It’s a very good menthol. They do love it.
Halo: What’s the first or most common question customers ask you?
Jerry: The repeat customers: “What have you got new?” To a new person that walks in with their arms crossed, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’ve never touched one of these before in my life. Show me some stuff. I’m willing to try this.” And their wife is standing behind them trying to help me help them, and sometimes I have to tell them, “Would you please leave him alone? Let me talk to him for a while.” (laughs) It’s usually a good-natured ribbing and fun. But the wife sort of understands.
Halo: Do you vape?
Jerry: Yes. Five-year anniversary was September 4 (2016).
Halo: What does vaping mean to you?
Jerry: The nicotine habit is still there but it’s such a low dosage now that I really can enjoy the different flavors. I have taken myself down to zero (nicotine) and tried it for a while. I still find that the nicotine makes me feel better by a little bit, but I’m down to 3 mg. I can use it in my house, I can use it in my car.
Halo: What’s your favorite Halo flavor?
Jerry: The new version of Kringle’s Curse I’m really in love with. It’s more of a peppermint-type flavor. I’m really happy about that juice right there. I’ve got to try everything that we carry. And it’s very good. It blew my mind that I could like a menthol-type flavor and do it all day if I had to.
Halo: Do you think the public has misconceptions about vaping?
Jerry: “It’s bad for you.” “You didn’t quit smoking.” Some really ignorant stuff. “I don’t want to smell that stuff because I’m going to get ‘contact nicotine.’” And this one lady, I literally opened up my cup of coffee, took the lid off and said, “Here. Smell that steam and tell me how much caffeine you’re getting out of it.” And she was sort of puzzled by that. People just don’t know what it is. If there’s smoke coming out of your mouth, that’s what they call it. It’s not smoking.
Magic Vapor Shop has six locations, with the main store at 595 Highway 192 West in London, Kentucky. Stop in for a visit when you’re in the area!
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