A British e-cigarette firm is launching a major sales drive into independent stores this month as well as seeking to raise more than £20m for expansion.

Gamucci, which already has more than 2,00 local accounts, but also sells it products via WH Smith, supermarkets and online, is to appoint Canaccord Genuity to help raise the funds.

Head of sales John Dunne told RN: "We are launching our own sales force this month, hitting 30,000 independent retailers in a matter of theree to four weeks with a special offer providing them with a starter pack of our product of at a greatly reduced price from mid-October.

"For us, it is major push tme. We're the only electronic cigarette company who prouces all our own products." 

The UK company has a Britisih patent for its technology and owns a factory in China employing 400 people. It expects sales to beat £10m in the current financial year. 

"Our larger clients really understand the longevity of that," said Mr Dunne. "Not all e-cigarettes are the same and this is really starting to take on a category feel. It's no longer a little fad that's going to make a quick profit and go away."

Since a Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency decision earlier this year to licence electronic cigarettes as medicines from 2016, Gamucci said it will use part of the funding to gain a licence, as well as spending on marketing and more research and development. 

By John Hayward of Retail Newsagent