Tobacco Business

[ 96 ] TOBACCO BUSINESS [ SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER | 21 ] No 26.23% Yes 73.77% HOWWOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STORE’S 2021 SALES PERFORMANCE SO FAR? WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR CIGAR SIZE SOLD IN YOUR STORE? DOES YOUR BUSINESS CURRENTLY HAVE AN ONLINE STORE? TOP FIVE RETAILER CONCERNS What are tobacco retailers worried about? We asked and received a wide range of responses. Here’s what’s concerning retailers, listed in order of the number of responses we received: REGULATIONS. Claiming the top spot as the biggest concern among retailers is the issue of regulations. Retailers are aware of the federal, state and local pressure on the industry, as well as the increased presence of the government in tobacco business. TAXES. An increase in taxes is hitting many retailers’ bottom lines, with the price of products going up and then being passed on to the consumers who are searching for the best price for their products, driving many to shop online. SUPPLY ISSUES. Part of the fallout from the pandemic has been its impact on product availability. Retailers expressed their issues with backorders, inventory, product availability and the overall supply chain disruption that has continued to be a problem well into 2021. ONLINE COMPETITION. Tobacconists have a big problem with online retailers, and it isn’t that they aren’t one—it’s the competition they’re seeing from the e-commerce category. Losing customers to e-retailers, online discounts and questionable business practices from some online companies has many retailers on edge. STAFFING SHORTAGE. Tobacco retailers, like many other businesses, are currently facing a challenge in finding and hiring employees to work in their stores. Survey conducted on from July 13-29, 2021. Total respondents: 123. RETAIL SURVEY Toro (6 x 50) 64.71% Robusto (5 x 50) 21.85% Gordo (6 x 60) 5.04% Churchill (7 x 48) 5.04% Gordito (4 1/2 x 60) 2.52% Corona (5 1/2 x 44) 0.84% An increase in sales 77.05% A decrease in sales 9.84% Stagnant/flat sales 13.11%