Financial Crisis Puts Cigar Nubs in Fashion
You know the market's tough when cigar smokers talk about cutting back. The crisis is real when they actually do so. With the sale of boxes, humidors and high-end cigar accessories dropping (I have anecdotally) – not to mention a cigar tax increase that has moved quickly from specter to materialization – retailers are scrambling for ways to keep customers in their stores.
When I met with Don Pepin Garcia back in November to discuss his new release, My Father's Cigar, he mentioned the need to keep prices reasonable, citing long-term relationships with his customers as taking priority over short-term measures. But, it looks like this may not be enough – as evidenced by the "nub club."
Discount cigar retailer Famous Smoke Shop has put together a selection of six-cigar samplers, consisting of "nubs," and is pricing them favorably to keep cigar smokers engaged. This new program is intended to allow customers to try nubs without requiring them to shell out for full boxes. Each sampler has three pairs of cigars, each with different wrappers: Habano, Connecticut and Cameroon. Prices range from $27 to $34.50 per pack.
Promotions like this one drive home the fact that we're all in it together. The manufacturers and retailers don't want to see us curtail our smoking experiences or trade down to "lesser" cigars. They want us to smoke what we know we enjoy. At the same time, smokers realize that we have to do our part and continue to buy the sticks we like.
Cooperation is better than any bailout program.
[Photo by Steve Zak]