Many of you have heard me say that we live in the “Golden Era” of cigars. There are so many varieties and blends of tobaccos from so many different places around the world that it is hard to even begin to name them. What a cigar maker can do today is only limited by his/her imagination. Well, we are experiencing that same “Golden Age” here at ABC.
As we make improvements to continue to provide our guests with the best cigar shopping experience possible, the most common compliment I get from our guests is the diversity of cigars. I take pride in this because we strive to ensure that everyone who walks into our humidor walks out of it happy.
As a company, we have recently taken two steps to guarantee that this only gets better. The first thing we’re in the process of doing is building a massive 4,600 square foot humidor in our distribution center. This new state of the art facility will dwarf our current room and will allow us to grow our cigar portfolio even more. This new facility will also help us maintain the freshness of the cigars in an advanced way.
Although we currently have strict guidelines that we follow when it comes to cigar storage, sometimes it can take a few hours to get the cigars off pallets and into the humidor upon arrival. Though the current system has served us well, our new humidor will allow us to immediately place the pallets in a temperature/humidity controlled environment. Our second innovation is a new cigar management program that fellow tobacconist Steve Mungeer and I have been asked to spearhead. We are now managing cigars on a store by store basis. We are making sure that our stores have the right cigars, in the right locations, for our guests to have the best experience. This is something not only new to us but the cigar industry. As there is no model to follow, we are creating it ourselves and blazing our own trail. We are very pleased with the early results and we anticipate that before the end of September, we will have completed this project in every one of our locations.
Of course, analytics can only take you so far and if your favorite ABC Store doesn’t have a cigar that you are looking for, please get with the store staff or contact me or Steve directly. We love receiving input from our guests. Who knows, maybe you will run into us in the stores. I promise you we don’t bite and we’ve also been known to give away a few free cigars.
Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Category Manager for Premium Cigars and Craft Beer
Follow me on Twitter @ABCCigarChris