It is now 2022, and we are all hoping for a great year—a year that isn’t as COVID-driven as the last couple of years have been. As things become more normalized, more retail shops are able to fully reopen and begin doing events again. There are some states where the shops have already been fully open, but there are many more states that are still greatly restricted. All of these restrictions or lack of restrictions boil down to how much retailers can make in sales.
The biggest complaints I have been hearing from cigar retailers is that they are having problems getting their pre-pandemic walk-in traffic back—as well as getting the number of customers to come in during events. Yes, most have email lists and social media, but let’s face it: Not everyone reads emails, and there are many restrictions imposed on social media posts made by cigar companies that have made it very hard to get the word out.
Here are just a few ways that Operation: Cigars for Warriors (CFW) can help retailers in getting in-store traffic back.
First off, you have to be an official Operation: Cigars for Warriors donation center before you can take full advantage of the wealth of opportunities by supporting the charity. If your store is not yet a designated donation center or you’re not sure you are still considered an active contributor, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. When our new website goes live in a couple of months, you will be able to verify your store’s donation center status or sign up to become one online. As the owner/manager of the retail establishment, you will also have the ability to update your profile with photos, links and other information. When traveling, many consumers go to our current website to find the nearest CFW donation center so that they can support those companies that support our troops.
Please remember—and this is something I mention in almost every article—to be proud to make money using CFW. CFW will get its donations naturally, and the better your store does, the better our charity does. When retailers sign up to become a CFW donation center, almost every shop owner I talk to tells me that they are not becoming a member to line their pockets but to support the troops. Trust me: CFW and our troops want you to make money using the charity.
CFW also strongly encourages shop owners and managers to ask one of their favorite customers to vouch for them to become an official CFW event coordinator (EC). While we have a few hundred ECs all over the country, the reality is that we could have that many in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex alone and still not have enough. Even more importantly, as a shop owner and/or manager, you now have an inside person within the charity that you know and trust and that you know is very loyal to you and to your store. This also gives you and your customers that extra bit of reassurance that the donations are actually going where they are supposed to. Additionally, you can vouch for as many people that you want to become an EC. Each one will have to fill out an application and complete an interview process, but because they have a store manager or owner vouch for them, the process is cut in half.