Vol. 25, No. 5
Oettinger Davidoff is at last reaping the rewards after rethinking its global sales and marketing strategies.
Smoke Inn’s Abe Dababneh will be the first to admit that a lot of his success is due to the help he received along the way.
Counting his blessings
While it might have taken him some time, pipemaker Kurt Balleby finds his calling.
Shoplifting can kill your business if it’s not controlled.
Holiday stress busters
The holiday season can be stressful, but creating a calmer environment can boost your profits.
A store can boost its sales by projecting the right image. RAI to acquire Lorillard, sell brands to Imperial Reynolds America Inc. has purchased Lorillard and plans to sell brands such as Kool to Imperial Tobacco.
General Cigar acquires Toraño and Leccia brands
General Cigar Co. has purchased the Toraño Family Cigar Co. and Leccia Tobacco Co. brands.
Enrique “Kiki” Berger
Popular cigarmaker “Kiki” Berger has passed away.
With technology, social media, Internet commerce and the like, some might question whether the annual trade show still holds the same importance it did 20 years ago. Today, you can go online at 3 a.m. and order anything from clothing, food, books and DVDs to computers and even cigars and wine—all from the comfort of your bed. However, despite the conveniences, some things are irreplaceable when it comes to the buying experience: things like human interaction.
Judging by the growing number of national and regional shows, it seems I am not alone in this belief. In the first half of 2014, our industry’s members will have traveled to the Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo, the American Wholesale Marketers Association Marketplace and Solutions Expo, the NATO Show, the Vapor World Expo and the IPCPR Convention and International Trade Show. And that list does not include regional shows or gift and accessory shows.
So, why are all these frequent flyer miles being racked up for those of us who travel to these shows? Ask 10 industry members and you might get 10 different answers.
For decades, trade shows have been an important means for retailers, distributors and manufacturers to meet, sample products, share feedback, make future plans for new products and line extensions and, for the retailer, to make purchasing decisions for the coming season or even the year. Manufacturers use trade shows to debut new products and lines and can often be seen letting special retailers sample cigars that are still in the development process—how better to get a feel for what the customers are going to think about new cigars?
At these shows, distributors often display new items they are considering adding to their product mix, but before ordering a warehouse full of products, they want to get retailers’ reactions first. Then come the retailers, who, if they plan properly, can reap the most benefits from the show.
First, the new or smaller retailers can benefit from meeting the key players behind desired brands. With the realization that it may be difficult to secure certain lines, some of these retailers bring along photos of their stores and events to help illustrate that they are serious and have a store worthy of hard-to-get lines. Further, the show gives retailers the opportunity to share ideas with their counterparts from across the country.
Such events also have the ability to create unity or cohesion during tough economic times and, in our industry’s case, to address the onslaught of taxation and regulation. And this benefits us all! So, if the upcoming IPCPR show was not in your plans, it’s not too late. Book your travel and I will see you there.
—Phil Bowling, Publisher