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foggymountain

Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2012
2,872
13
As with any retailers, tobacconists stock what they can sell. A retail business measures it's success partly by how many turnovers of inventory it can have in a year. For instance, say a store has $100,000 in inventory. It might generate $100,000 in sales from that, or $500,000. In order to stock more pipes they have to sell more. A suggestion or request for a product helps. If a lot of people ask for Petersons, there is a good chance they will stock Petersons.

 

thehappypiper

Senior Member
Feb 27, 2014
303
0
It's not just pipes! I mean, obviously shops which sell real tobacco and real pipes are hard to oome by.....in the UK you can always get the same 2 or 3 pipe tobaccos from supermarkets; Condor, St Bruno, Mellow Virginia (which is awful)but that is as much a cultural hangover as anything else. Dedicated pipe shops are becoming like gold dust because very very few people smoke pipes these days. Tonight I went out to get myself a denim jacket- after looking at one or two in my local Avirex shop I decided to check out the competition from Evisu, Lee, Levi, G=Star etc. It seems that "anorexic orang-u-tan" is the new default shape. And these were NOT affordable items! $500 is what you are expected to pay for a "designer" denim jacket in China these days.

Put simply, times have moved on and pipesmokers are now a niche with a very few dedicated people meeting their needs. I mean, who can compete with smokingpipes.com? You gonna get 200 blends and a thousand pipes in a shop in Delaware, or Preston?

 

bigboi

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2012
1,193
0
I live in the northern part of WA state. In Bellingham WA there are two pretty decent tobacco shops. Fairhaven Smoke shop and Sir Winstons. Fairhaven has the better tobacco selection in bulk while Sir Winston's has the better pipe selection. Both have lots of cigars! It would be nice to have a shop where one could enjoy a pipe. I know on the Indian Reservations one could conceavably open a B & M an have smoking on premises like they do in the Casinos. Might be a good business venture to tie a good B & M to a Casino

 

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shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,452
1
The same thing has happened with photographic film, it's almost impossible to find it locally anymore unless you happen to be in a major city with a large, pro-oriented camera store. It is what it is. Thankfully the economics of internet commerce have allowed for the continuance of so-called niche hobbies like film photography and pipe smoking.

 

shaintiques

Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
3,600
62
Georgia
I don't get the whole argument to not even try to compete with online retail. I have a local B&M, we meet there for pipe club. I told the owner that we would love to spend money there, but most of us smoke mainly tinned tobaccos and asked if he would be interested to stock some. I gave him a list of 5 and he ordered them the next day and the pricing is very reasonable. So reasonable that I will probably be buying all of my Escudo from him. He isn't going to make a killing like he is on cigars, but stocking what your customers want is just good business. And where he wasn't making much on us pipers, he is now making money. Lastly, I don't smoke cigars but I have many friends who do and you can bet that if a B&M is going to take care of me, I'm going to take care of them and send all my cigar buying buddies there.

 

necron99

Member
Mar 4, 2014
269
0
I Live more than 60 miles from my B&M, yet only buy from them. I have ordered on line but no longer.

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,098
2
"I mean, who can compete with smokingpipes.com?"
Those who a) provide a comfortable environment for pipe smokers to hang out, and b) carry items that SmokingPipes does not (i.e., estates, aged tins). These days, if you have a smoking area -- or simply a comfortable shop to stand around in, maybe with a few stools -- that can be priceless for pipe smokers. And I also think that shops that carry a good selection of estates will always stand out. After all, it's not like estates come in identical multiples: your stock will be different from everyone else's out there. I also think that B&Ms could win a lot of fans by ordering tins that they just let sit for a couple of years. I realize that's a financial commitment, but a tin with even three years of age on it could be sold for more than a brand-new tin. And the lure of aged tins could generate good traffic.
I'm not saying that running a tobacco shop is a guaranteed money-maker these days. It's probably a lot like the winery business. When I was doing a lot of travel writing, I used to to hear a lot of winery owners tell the same joke: "Do you know how to wind up with $1 million after a year running a winery? Start the year with $2 million." But for those who are passionate about this and able to bear the financial risks involved, there is still, clearly, a market.
Bob

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
19,653
4,466
Outer Space
There is a garden supply place down the road from me. They get in this organic insect control spray that everyone is hot for right now. Every time he buys a crate, it is gone before he can get them on the shelves. He just opens the box, leaves it in the floor, and we've emptied it by the end of the first day.
He stopped carrying it last year, and I asked him why. He said that it wasn't worth it because it kept selling out so fast, LOL.
Some people just weren't meant to own a business.

 

davidintexas

Preferred Member
Jun 4, 2013
608
32
Ithelouniverse, where do you live? Somewhere in west Texas, right, from what I remember? You've got some setup there.

 
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