When you mention “the black market,” it evokes imagery of back-alley deals among criminals, not the less fearsome picture of mom-and-pop grocers conducting transactions with their regular customers. Yet it was the latter who recently came up in headlines about the black market.
Breaking into the mindset of the many groups making up modern consumers—from social-media-savvy millennials to yoga-centric females and construction-working Bubbas—can be a daunting task. Take millennials, for instance: By time a retailer can gather data on the latest Gen-Y food trend, most of that group has moved on to the next hot-ticket item. Yet with deep pockets and a willingness to embrace the c-store channel, millennials are hardly a group that can be ignored. What’s a retailer to do?
The revolution did not start in the c-store channel. It started out quietly, from your home, where you, the customer, browsed the Internet and found vendors from the Asian continent and Western countries selling something different, something revolutionary, something not found in your local c-store or drug store: electronic cigarettes.