Strong 2018 Holiday Sales for Premium Tobacco Retailers

Anyone who’s spent any time at all in a premium cigar store / lounge, knows how infectious the enthusiasm is for quality hand-rolled cigars.

So good to know that people who love premium cigars are going in the right direction by supporting our Brick & Mortar Tobacconists.
Let’s keep that drive alive!

Survey Says: Strong 2018 Holiday Sales for Premium Tobacco Retailers

 For a second consecutive December holiday sales cycle, IPCPR retailer members are reporting increased sales in 2018 versus the same period in 2017. 

The annual IPCPR holiday season sales survey asks tobacconists about sales activity in their stores during the week of December 18-24. 

  1. Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ total sales volume over the pre-Christmas holiday week up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2017?
  2. Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ store traffic over the pre-Christmas holiday week up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2017?
  3. Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ average spend per customer over the pre-Christmas holiday week up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2017?

Last January IPCPR gathered the same data comparing the sales week of Dec. 18-24, 2017 versus 2016. The 2017 holiday sales survey indicated 55% of Retailers increased their sales volume over the same period in ’16.

“A strong economy certainly helps sales of premium cigars, pipes and high-end accessories that flourish when consumers have expendable income, but it’s always encouraging to see strong sales for IPCPR members for a second consecutive year,” said IPCPR President Ken P. Neumann.

 While the two consecutive years of total sales volume growth bodes well for premium cigar and pipe sellers, survey results indicate the average-spend-per-customer was down this year.

“It is interesting to note how total sales volume increased for a majority of our members while they simultaneously experienced lower per customer spends,” said Scott Pearce, IPCPR Executive Director. The increased sales volume seems to be driven by a slight uptick in store traffic.

This holiday season’s reported customer traffic for premium cigar retailers is somewhat surprising, because it differs from the national trend for brick-and-mortar retailers of all kinds. The Wall Street Journal and the National Retail Federation both report that 2018 holiday retail sales were up approximately 5% over 2017, but this year’s holiday season store traffic fell by as much as 3% for all retail establishments.

Perhaps big box retailers have suffered more losses to internet sales in the Amazon age than have tobacconists. But the drive to figure out how to sustain brick-and-mortar store traffic isn’t getting easier for retailers of all varieties.

Press Release, Photos & Images courtesy of:
IPCPR

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