Cuban cigars sales dropped dramatically

Published on March 15th, 2010 09:56

Cigar smoking has always been associated with high-end audience, as it was an essential part of spending leisure for wealthy people. However, the difficult economic situation across the world has obliged many people to revise their spending habits, and sales of elite Cuban cigars dropped dramatically. This forced cigar makers focus their attention of an unexpected segment of buyers – female smokers.

Nearly 30 million cigars are purchased every year across the Czech Republic, in conformity with the Economy Ministry Sales Report, returning in millions of crowns in revenues for cigar sellers and approximately 10 million crowns ($521,376) every year in taxes for the state budget. Nevertheless, cigars keep falling, as some smokers are willing to cut their expensive on luxury accessories.

cuban cigars

The Habanos Co, the maker of famous Cuban cigars, owning such brands as Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta, reported a worldwide drop of $360

Peter Forman, the importer of Habanos cigar brands to the Czech Republic complained that the sales plummeted by 15 percent in the mainstream segment and as much as 30 percent in the least expensive cigar category.

Cigar smoking has seen a dramatic growth of popularity in the Czech Republic since 1995, after Forman started selling Cuban cigars across the nation. Thanks to successful promotional campaigns, cigar clubs hade popped up across the major cities, including Prague, as upscale audience was delighted to become a part of American culture of cigar smoking.

Forman has been the leading importer of Cuban cigars on the Czech market for a decade, when a local cigarette-maker Tabak Invest acquired exclusive rights to sell Habanos cigars in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

Petra Amis, Tabak Invest communications director admitted that cigar sales have sink especially in Hungary. According to Amis, sales drops have affected the low-end cigar segment, since those smokers who could afford purchasing expensive hand-made cigars, will always be able to purchase them.

Though people are purchasing fewer cigars, however, adult cigar aficionados tend to buy namely Cuban cigar brands, because the quality of these products need no advertisement, said Amis.

Adam Novak, owner of Bar and Books tobacco outlet in Praque, said their regular customers have not dropped their smoking habit over the past two years. The owner of the outlet which sells a wide assortment of Cuban cigars, varying in price, size, length and strength, said the major sales drop has been connected with the decline in tourism, as it had a dramatic effect on the Czech economy as a whole.

Dropping demand on several kinds of Cuban cigars have resulted in essential modifications in the size of cigars being manufactures, since many tobacco-makers have shifted their attention to female smokers, a segment which until now has not been tapped.

The Habanos Cigar group has recently launched new womanly style of their famous brand Cohiba. A thinner cigar with a more delicate mild taste will be oriented on female smokers, who comprise just 5 percent of Czech cigar-smokers.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

Related tags: cigars | cigs sales | cuban cigars | tobacco | tobacco use

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