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RELX World Domination Plans

Chinese market leader RELX bounces from a new round of funding to announce plans to open 10,000 stores around the world

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Chinese electronic cigarette market leader RELX has announced that it plans to spend 500 million Chinese Yuan (£56 million) on establishing 10,000 brick and mortar stores around the world. Currently, the brand is imported and distributed by Relaxer Technology UK LTD. to 153 outlets in Great Britain.

In July, RELX completed a round of fundraising that tripled the company’s value to £1.9 billion. This demonstrated the phenomenal growth of the business that was nothing but a start-up in January 2018 – but then some of the companies behind it include Huawei, O'real, Uber and Proctor & Gamble. RELX is now is Asia's leading e-cigarette company.

The firm R&D operates out of Shenzhen, and has made significant investments in R&D, e-liquid testing and new product development through its partnership with FEELM (who provide the hardware and ceramic atomiser).

“As always, our focus will remain on preventing minors from using e-cigarette products and leading the path of innovation for the entire industry by developing advanced retail technology,” said a company spokesperson at the announcement of the planned global expansion.

RELX opened its first store twelve months ago, and rapidly expanded to operate 1,400 stores across 300 Chinese cities. The e-cigarette brand now holds a market share above 60%, and the company aims to strengthen its lead by accelerating its retail business.

“RELX is investing heavily in breakthrough technologies to enhance franchisees’ profit margins and increase consumer loyalty during the course of its brick-and-mortar expansion,” said Jiang Long, Co-founder and Head of Sales. “As always, our focus will remain on preventing minors from using e-cigarette products and leading the path of innovation for the entire industry by developing advanced retail technology.”

It runs an 18+ flagship store in Shanghai’s bustling central business district which occupies 140 square meters and functions as a space to educate existing adult smokers and vapers on RELX vapor products. The shop features a brand experience area, a consumer education area, an interactive zone, and device engraving services.

RELX operates its “Project Sunflower” facial recognition technology to ensure minors attempting to enter the store are identified automatically and denied service. It plans to implement facial recognition-equipped cameras to alert staff of suspected underage buyers in all the stores where local legislation permits.

“Consumers nowadays prefer immersive shopping experiences, and we want to make this flagship a place where we can not only better communicate with them about our product and values but also better understand their needs,” said Wang Tao, head of RELX’s new retail business. “We’re always on the lookout for ways to better serve our consumers.”


  • RELX ecigarettes UK – [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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