Philips & King has signed a historic agreement partnering with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Inc. (NATO). With this new partnership, Phillips & King will now be in a position to help its customers address legislative issues affecting the tobacco industry, a major focus of NATO.
“This partnership with Phillips & King represents a major endeavor against restrictive local tobacco ordinances and state legislation across the country that threaten tens of thousands of family-owned businesses nationwide,” said Thomas Briant, Executive Director of NATO. “By leveraging Phillips & King’s retail customer reach with NATO legislative efforts, we will work together to protect the right of retailers to sell legal tobacco products.”
Phillips & King is the leading distributor of specialty tobacco products and accessories in the United States. NATO is a trade association that was created to further the business interests of all tobacco retailers through education, information, and activation. It’s proactive approach to inform its members about pending legislation and regulations, and advise elected officials on the local, state, and national level on the impacts of proposed legislation makes it an integral part of the tobacco business industry, especially with the increase of government regulation of tobacco products and the rise of anti-smoking legislation.
Phillips & King, in business since 1906, has an extensive customer roster, servicing all types of smoke shops–including discount tobacco outlets, tobacconists, convenience stores, liquor stores, and vapor retailers. This is a landmark partnership for the company, bringing together retailers in all tobacco-related categories, and providing them with the tools to collectively make a positive impact on the industry as a whole.
With this new partnership, all of the current Phillips & King retailers will receive information and assets to help them actively participate in issues that directly affect their livelihood. This includes:
- Alerts about tobacco-related legislative activities on local, state, and national levels
- Call-to-action instructions for business owners when a local issue is pending
- Local field staff to educate them on relevant topics
- Pre-drafted communications to customize and send to legislators
In 2017, all current Phillips & King customers will automatically be enrolled as affiliate-level NATO members, with their registration fees covered for the calendar year. Their renewals will also be covered each year the customer remains active with Phillips & King. Membership information will be sent to Phillips & King customers via email, and each customer will also begin to receive regular NATO News bulletins with up-to-date information on local, state, and federal tobacco issues.
“We have been serving the tobacconist business for over 110 years,” commented Sergio Montolfo, General Manager of Phillips & King. “There has never been a more important time for the tobacco retailer to get involved and take an active part in fighting the anti-tobacco legislation affecting all of our businesses. Phillips & King is known for offering quality products and exceptional customer service. We are pleased to also now provide our customers with information and a louder voice that enables them to make a positive difference for the industry.”
Also, as part of this partnership, Briant will be returning as a speaker of the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE), the annual trade show hosted by Tobacco Media Group (TMG), which is owned by Kretek International, Inc. Phillips & King is also the parent company of Phillips & King. Briant will take part in the TPE’s conference circuit, where retailers can learn of the latest legislation impacting their business and are provided with helpful information, resources and support.
For more information on the partnership between Phillips & King and NATO, visit phillipsandking.com.