Boy, this warrants a response. Mike, you're right. We're in an expected lull because of a market flood and the subsequent aftereffects of the surge. We're also experiencing a lull for reasons that are separate from that, I believe. Why are people not hanging out at cigar stores as much? Why are guys not buying as much? Why are people not chatting as much? Is this industry really that obsessed with "new" that we don't even appreciate the old? Am I that off base for thinking this? Granted, these talking points are from only one retailer and I am casting them as law despite their thin foundation. I get that's not valid but for the sake of this conversation, appearance has been backed by fact.Stewmuse wrote: ↑Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:10 pmI was listening to the most recent episode, 168 (La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor), and you guys did a very nice, impromptu "review" of a couple of my cigars. Muchas gracias!
You also talked a fair bit of the "general malaise" of the energy in the cigar world for consumers and, seemingly, producers and cigar stores. I really don't think this should be surprising, given the reasons you gave about all the releases that launched before the August deadline, as well as any "tiredness" from the ongoing (potential) law changes and restrictions. I think those, combined with better weather here in the states, all play a role. During the middle part of the year, there just isn't a LOT of reason to go to stores. It's nice enough outside to just smoke at our homes, and with internet prices so much more reasonable, why pay the extra for little gain? I don't mind, and even enjoy, going to stores to gather in the colder months, because I'm also paying for the venue - comfortable chairs, temperature, and comrades. The main store where my friends and I gather on a somewhat monthly basis is nice, but the cheapest, good cigars you'll find quickly run $10 each, and larger cigars are readily 50-100% more than that. I'm just not shocked by the "current conditions."
You're potentially right about the summer months being slower due to weather. There must be a percentage of the public who only really utilize a shop when they can't smoke at home. That said, there is CERTAINLY a group who use a shop regardless. This percentage of the market is where I see a decline. I have dozens of friends who used to post pictures of friday night gatherings at the shop or share stories of 'cigar store pals' out on the town. I'm seeing less and less of that. Could it be all the things you mentioned, the FDA regulation, retailers being slightly more conservative, etc, all adding up to the decline? possibly. probably. I just wish the industry followers were strong enough to overcome those slight setbacks. The industry shouldn't be mortally wounded by "death by a thousand cuts". Right now it may very well be heading that direction. It makes me sad. I'm not quite sure it comes back from that. When people gradually choose to involve themselves elsewhere it's mighty hard to come back. Hard, forced breaks leave the heart yearning for more. Slow, gradual changes generally don't. I hope we remember how much the lounge & social aspect of this lifestyle define it.
Yes, I know this is not a composed thought. Yes, I know it's just mental statements typed into a keyboard. Yes I know it's poorly written. You're all big enough boys to figure it out