Life as a Cigar Store Owner
Written by Kevin Godbee

Monday, 07 December 2009

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Your friendly local cigar store owner also faces stiff competition from online retailers. The overheads for a business that only sells its products online is far less than the business that has to maintain a shop front to make sales. Local and state taxes are almost non-existent for the online retailer and he can get his message out to a much wider audience than the guy with the shop down on Main Street.

Of course the guy on Main Street can go online to sell his products too but succeeding with an online store is a lot more involved than what many people might think. Build it and they will come is a wonderful dream but the reality is quite different as many people who have tried to take their business online have discovered.

Then there’s the challenge that’s served up from the anti-smoking lobby. Laws continue to be passed that restrict our freedom to smoke cigars and before long many tobacco sellers see a time coming when they won’t be allowed to sell from a store front at all.

 Already in some countries tobacco sellers are not allowed to have open displays of cigarettes and some enforcement agencies actively try to entrap tobacconists and encourage them to break the law by sending in under-age buyers who try to coerce the store clerks into selling tobacco products to them.


Faced with all that competition and hardline enforcement it’s a miracle that any local cigar store owner can still smile let alone make a profit yet somehow they do smile and they do continue to survive. Last month 4000 owners and senior staff of specialty shops selling premium cigars got together in New Orleans for the annual trade show of the Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.

High on the agenda was the question of high taxes adding to the cost of cigars and reducing the demand for their premium products. These specialty store owners are already seeing the demand for expensive cigars beginning to fall and the popular price range for many buyers now is in the $4 to $6 bracket. 


0 # SmokeRises 2009-12-07 15:33
good article and as sad as it is the government will find a way to control the population if not by banning then by taxing to death. just the tip of the iceberg imo.less gov control and more freedom. not sure if it makes sense since im typing with my eyes half open. super tired right now but i thinkn you get the message

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