Welcome To Our Flagship IQOS Store: High Street Kensington
By Gavin Balson
It’s a coffee bar, a pet-friendly hangout, a great place to work/relax/read – and it’s our flagship IQOS store. Welcome to IQOS High St Kensington where we chatted with Eliza, the Assistant Manager.
What Makes IQOS High St Kensington So Special?
It’s our biggest store in London, and opened last year. The lounge here is a huge point of difference: It’s flooded with daylight, with a relaxed feel with comfy chairs, plants and books to browse. Anyone is welcome to come in and use our free WIFI, catch up on some work at the high tables and grab a free coffee from our espresso bar.
We’re also dog friendly! We’ve a designated water bowl (and hoping to get in some dog treats soon). One of our regulars always brings his very cuddly dog, Machumba, in with him for coffee.
Philip Morris UK initially intended this to be a pop up for nine months, but customers kept saying ‘Please don’t leave the High Street!’ and we’ve been so successful that it’s now our flagship.
What’s The IQOS Experience In-store Like For A Cigarette Smoker Wanting To Learn If IQOS Is Suitable?
As Store Experts, we have to undergo detailed training in providing expert advice and excellent IQOS customer service. We’re always happy to spend time with customers and we offer guided trials so they can actually experience IQOS before they buy, and learn how to use, charge and clean the device properly.
If still not sure, they can opt for a 14 Day Try Before You Buy Programme. They can try out whichever IQOS heat not burn device (IQOS 3, IQOS 3 MULTI or IQOS 2.4 Plus) they’d like without any obligation.
And What About Vaping?
Yes, we also have a vape called IQOS MESH and can explain how this works too.
What Questions Do You Get Asked The Most?
Enquiring customers tend to have questions about health concerns and using IQOS as a stepping stone to quitting cigarette smoking. IQOS isn’t risk-free and we always tell them to speak to their doctor or their pharmacist, and explain how IQOS vapour has a reduction of 95% of the harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke.
We’re also asked if our HEETS filters are vegan or vegetarian, as some companies use animal fat, and whether they include plastic. The answer to both is no – HEETS filters include natural corn starch.
You’ve An Interesting Gadget On Display – It’s Rather Like Being At The Science Museum?!
Our science machine demonstrates the actual difference between when you smoke a cigarette and when you use an IQOS heated tobacco system. It recreates a smoking experience with a suction mechanism that compares cigarette smoke versus IQOS vapour.
Laboratory filter pads show how the smoke and vapour compare: the recreated cigarette smoke leaves a brownish colour that smells of smoke, while the IQOS vapour leaves no discoloration and leaves less lingering smell than cigarettes.
The science machine also explains how a cigarette can burn tobacco at very high temperatures, while IQOS heats tobacco to a much lower controlled temperature.
Another display shows examples of the tobacco leaves and crimped tobacco sheet used in the finely controlled process in making HEETS.
Do You Offer In-store IQOS Technical Support?
Yes, because people sometimes experience problems with their heating blade breaking because they haven’t cleaned their IQOS properly or they’ve taken out a HEETS without lifting the cap and residual tobacco has got stuck.
We’ll offer a replacement on the spot, find out where they went wrong and guide them through the whole IQOS process so that they know exactly what to do – such as always using the specially designed IQOS cleaning sticks and cleaning tool. It’s a bad idea to use cotton wool buds as they stick into the blade and affect the taste and the quality.
Customers can ask us in-store to clean their device for free. We also give the cleaning sticks away for free, with clear instructions on the packaging.
Do You Offer Any Discounts?
Yes – for instance, every starter kit includes a discounted price for the IQOS device and four packs of HEETS. With IQOS MESH, you get four packs of the gourmet flavour for every five packs of VEEV vaping capsules.
Any Plans For IQOS Stores Elsewhere?
We already have another three IQOS London shops and are really excited about our two Manchester openings in May. As for other IQOS UK stores well, if anyone’s wondering "Is there an IQOS near me?" Watch this space.
Our IQOS flagship store is at 138 High Street Kensington, London W8 7RL, just a few minutes’ walk from High Street Kensington tube station. Open 9am – 7pm every day, and 11am – 5pm Sundays. For details of where else to buy IQOS and HEETS, visit uk.iqos.com.