Born of frustration, irritation and a need for change
The UK's cigar market is a pretty screwed up place, controlled in the main by a few companies, the same companies, which have controlled it for some cases for centuries. It has served them well - very well. It hasn't served us, the cigar chugging, all we want is wider choice and better value cigar smokers well, not to mention some of the poorest countries in the world who they have profited handsomely from, yet given little back!
These companies exclusively control both the import and retail sections of the market, they all supply each other and the incentive for them to innovate and compete with each other is low. It is an old boys club which is outdated and unless it changes will do nothing to create or foster the vibrancy and diversity that is evident in so many cigar scenes in many parts of the world.
Profit margins are very handsome on cigars in the UK. They are at a level most retailers and importers of other products can only dream of. That’s the truth. The reason for tobacconists closing is not due to lack of profit it’s down to 1) the huge decline in smoking in the UK and 2) an outdated, inefficient , profit greedy business model that has premises in very expensive high end addresses. Guess what. That’s means prices are hugely inflated in the UK to support an industry that hasn’t moved with the times. Cigar smokers in the UK are not all rich, they are not all landed gentry and they are savvy enough now to seek out good deals. The cigar industry in the UK has a choice. It either changes or within a decade it will be gone. It will be gone not because of legislation, though that is a constant threat, but gone because of its own unwillingness to change to protect profit.
New World of Cigars is showing that if we change how we source cigars, if we don’t run expensive high street premises and we bring modern ways of doing business in we can dramatically alter the price point of cigars available to you, at the same time as bringing in new, new world boutique cigars for you which haven't been available in the UK before. My hope is by doing that, more people will discover the pleasure of smoking a cigar and that we will begin to see a new generation of smokers creating the vibrant, inclusive and consumer led market we see in other countries! Will we ever achieve the price point of cigars you find in other lower tax countries. No. Is it possible to reduce the price of cigars in the UK very significantly. Yes.
It's time for change - big change. A change that benefits you - by widening the choice of cigars available to you. A change that benefits you - by creating a differentiated retail market where rightly so, lounges that deliver exceptional service can charge a premium, but 21st century business like this can deliver you the value you deserve. And of huge personal importance to me, a change that benefits cigar producing nations - by returning some of our industries profits directly back in to charities that create opportunity and education in some of the poorest nations on earth which is why we donate £1 from every order you place with us!
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When I die, my epitaph will not be that I made others, or myself richer at the expense what I truly believe in. It will be that I tried to make a difference to those, who by fortune of where they were born, were less fortunate than I.
Welcome to the New World of Cigars!
Pete Wareham 20/03/2020
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