Cigar Talk: Keeping the public satisified
I had an interesting conversation with David Weiss, the owner of Lone Wolf Cigars regarding what cigars are put in a humidor? As we all know, there is limited space available in a B and M humidor. You can only put so many sticks and boxes in it. Think of shelf space in a supermarket. There are the national brands we all know, there are store brands and sometimes we see new brands being displayed.
A brick and mortar cigar operation operates on the basically the same premise. Well known products are given the best shelf space with special displays, so patrons can make better eye contact. Items are placed as you come into the humidor so it’s the first thing you see. These are all basic merchandising devices, all types of businesses incorporate this type of practice.
The bigger question for consumers and owners should be, What new and old products do you sell for purchase? I asked this to a number of cigar hounds and the answers were similar , yet diverse.
David Weiss, commented his humidor is stocked on what sells and not his own individual taste. This makes sense after all he is in the business of selling cigars.
Diego Munoz-Flores , a seasoned cigar smoker gave me a slightly different take. He also stated , a humidor should have products that sell but likes to have the opportunity to try boutique type product , cigars he may not be familiar with. Run a special or have a display so he can acquaint himself and learn about new blends. He likes the concept that allows him to get educated about products not necessarily in his usual stash.
Another viewpoint that I recently heard is that cigar dealers have an obligation to offer cigars that are not just top sellers. Smaller cigar companies need to be given a voice in the cigar world. Without the boutique blends , the large manufacturers have no reason to introduce other cigars into the market place. A case in point is how often we now see the big boys channeling more R and D cash into new areas of cigar product. Think of the collaboration between for example AJ Fernandez and General Cigar on a new Hoyo de Monterrey.
As for my take I would like B and M’s to introduce boutique blends to their lines. It creates good will for the store as consumers come into the establishment to learn what they have in stock. Diversity is a good model for the cigar world. Choice opens up all aspects of the business. Small businesses flourish , which helps all in the chain. Yes, continue to sell the good old standbys but give some credence to the new kids on the block.
How often new cigar products are displayed is an owner’s choice. I enjoy cigar events that combine new blends with special pricing. It’s the best of all worlds. Chew the fat with your cigar buddies, compare notes and of course buy a couple of sticks to keep the business operational. Let me know your thoughts about this.