Since Crosthwaite took the helm of the Juul e-cigarette brand for one year, Juul has stopped most of its promotion activities in the United States, stopped promoting candy and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes in the United States, and has begun to reverse its overseas expansion.
According to people familiar with the matter, Juul’s sales in the US, Canada and the UK accounted for more than 90% of the company’s total sales in the first quarter of this year.
According to Goldman Sachs analyst Bonnie Herzog, Juul’s market share in the United States has dropped from 75% in November 2018 to 58% today. At that time, Juul voluntarily stopped selling its sweet and fruit-flavored products in US retail stores. In the four weeks ending August 8, Juul’s total sales at US retailers fell 33% year-on-year.
The largest investor in this startup is Altria Group Inc., the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes. Juul disrupted the American tobacco industry in 2017 and became the leader of the e-cigarette market. Altria acquired a 35% stake in Juul in 2018, when Juul was valued at $38 billion, making it one of the most valuable start-ups in the United States. The financial situation disclosed by Juul recently to employees shows that Juul’s sales last year were US$2 billion, but its loss reached US$1 billion. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported total sales of $394 million, but lost $46 million. Altria’s current valuation of Juul is only $12 billion. After a series of contraction plans, we can only wait and see how Juul will go.