“We have a couple of years to sell what’s in our stores now, and we’re going to push all those categories and products that are affected,” says Gallagher. “We think a lot of the manufacturers, especially on the premium side, will figure out how to adapt. It may not be as easy for boutique manufacturers that don’t meet the predicate date; they have a different hurdle, in my mind, especially if legislation doesn’t step in or help push the dates backs. But even if everything stayed the same, there are a lot of blends in our marketplace, or old blends before the predicate date, to fill our humidors.”
Moving forward, he is adamant that the tobacco retail business of today is more dependent on powerful industry relationships and partnerships than ever. “This is the cornerstone of our success, which I attribute to my dad in the oil business, who passed it on to us” how important it is to have outstanding supplier, distributor and association relationships,” he says. “Looking long term, we look at building for a viable future. As times change, so does the nature of the business, and you never know when those relationships on the back burner will move to the forefront and be necessary to help your business grow.”
That, and the Gallagher grin, will prevail at Smoker Friendly.
Read the full version of this story in the July/August 2016 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the to tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription. Click here for details.