SP No Longer Carrying Stanwell?

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fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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I have been out of the loop for a while, and it seems smokingpipes doesn't carry any Stanwell pipes these days. Anyone know if there was a reason for this?

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,698
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Stanwell is now made by BC in Italy, or so I've been told. Perceived quality has fallen. Not sure it has anything to do with it, but that's all I know.

 

jackswilling

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2015
1,777
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The Stanwell's I have received of late have been nice pipes, fit and finish. For me, a good pipe for the $$$.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
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I bought two of those Italian Stanwells from PC a while back and for my purposes, they are good little smokers. They may not have quite the aura of the Danish made pipes, but not knowing any better, I'm content with these. I am interested that retailers don't all carry all the major brands. I guess they pick and choose, and negotiate wholesale deals and drop a brand if they don't like the wholesale price. Right now, in price competition, PC seems the most aggressive; I just bought a Big Ben churchwarden Lectura for $39.99 on a one-day discount, after finding Big Ben pipes (Dutch made) too pricey for years. Another slow-motion drama is playing out at the Iwan Ries web site where their house pipes, which have been made by Benton for years, are all out of stock for more than a year. I think Benton may have suspended production and IR is in negotiation to find a new house pipe supplier. The pipe industry is in major flux right now, so this process (apparently) is taking a long time. It's an interesting time to be observing all this. I'm not sure why IR leaves the unavailable pipes on the web site -- maybe as a way to say, standby.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,955
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Italy?

It just keeps getting worse...

"Danish company shuts the factory doors to get a French manufacturer to have pipes made in Italy."
(I'm pretty Sure Stanwells are French pipes now... Unless they're not and things really are that bad.)

 

northernneil

Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
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This came to my attention last year, and a thread was started to find out why (of course I am unable to find it). Nonetheless, a representative from SP.com came on and explained that the fact they are no longer carrying Stanwell has nothing to do with the perceived quality of current production, and everything to do with competitive pricing.
Apparently the company who owns Stanwell is in direct competition with the company that owns SP.com. This is at least how I remember the discussion.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
18
Found on another forum...
Music City Marketing used to be the importer for Stanwell. Now it's Meier Dutch. Apparently ST group (Scandinavian Tobacco) owns Meier Dutch, and Meier Dutch is based out of Bethlehem PA, same place Pipes and Cigars is based out of. Remember when Pipes and Cigars was bought up by Cigars International? Seems Scandinavian Tobacco Group (Swedish Match) bought Cigars International who bought Pipes and Cigars, so Meier Dutch was put in place to be the importing channel.
Sounds like a clusterf**k, don't it? Well, the end result feels like one.
If you notice, smokingpipes no longer carries Stanwell. Whether this is because they (smokingpipes/Laudisi) chose to not do business with this ST mess of a conglomerate or ST chose to not share their pipes with the Laudisi group I don't know, but if my experience with ST group is any indication, Laudisi is better off without them.
The recent record for pipes and cigars has been mixed with plenty of complaints, and we've publicly seen good guys like Russ O trying to smooth things over when things went bad from the actions of inexperienced or inept employees. From my perspective, they have the classic 'Big Corporation doesn't have people in place that know what they're doing and can't get out of their own way' syndrome. I'll give an example.
Stanwell. Music City always seemed to do a good job, they knew what their product was and what their customer based wanted and expected, and they communicated well. Stanwell filter pipes aways came with a filter adapter because, as everyone knows, the vast majority of American smokers do not use filters, they pop the adapters in if they buy a Stanwell filter pipe. These adapters have been designed and redesigned to perform well, they aren't some cheap novelty piece of junk, they actually work, unlike many other filters and filter adapters out there.
Now that Stanwell is being managed by ST group, and even though the verbiage in the pipe descriptions has not changed (these pipes can be used with filters or with an adapter for those who do not wish to use filters), they sell you the pipes and do not include an adapter. When you write and ask why you did not get the standard, always included adapter, they say "The description says may be used with adapter, we didn't say we'd include one".
It's a good thing I didn't buy a pair of shoes from you, I'd not expect that I'd have to go elsewhere to buy the laces for them.
So Joe Customer service makes a point to say that I clearly did not understand the meaning of the verbiage used in the description but out of benevolent grace he'd send me an adapter.
Wouldn't you make sure you actually had a stanwell adapter, then put it in an envelope with a stamp on it? No. A large box (big enough to ship a couple pounds of tobacco) is sent via two day express with a little piece of plastic 1/6th the size of a pencil. Must have cost 10 bucks to ship it. Too bad it wasn't even the right object. Damned thing has a metal stinger attached to it, like a Kaywoodie stinger. Worthless, and not at all what we discussed (I can hear it now. Sir, we did not specifically state that it would be an authentic Stanwell adapter. Sir, we did not include laces with your shoes but there is a length of twine in the box that will work just as well).

An email to Meier group was sent without response. No surprise.
Rome fell under it's own weight. As conglomerates devour each other up and grow they become less, not more. We've already seen much of it, tobacco brands being bought and sold and brought under large umbrella manufacturers, the blends turning to homogenized crap nothing like the original. Now, as with my experience with ST/Meier/Pipes and Cigars, we get bigger but less available, and an uninformed and inept application of service.
As George Carlin so aptly put it, It's all bullshit, and it's bad for ya folks.
Puff Daddy
"These are horrible times and all sorts of horrible people are prospering, but we must never let this disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to annoy and hinder them at every turn."

 

fadingdaylight

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
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Ah, thank you Neil. I was just curious about what happened.
Side note.. I have a "Danish Design"(Italian) Stanwell, and I love it.

 

fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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Thank you Troy, that explains it. Business is business I suppose. As always, your research is appreciated.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
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I've used baler twine to tie my boots for upwards of a month... And I tear the standard laces off immediately because they're never long enough. Paracord works great.

(but I digress)
I don't think pipes need adapters. I mean, without you're basically getting a Reverse Calabash design that some people pay extra for.

But it was silly to change standard practice when it comes to what you deliver to your customer, especially without being clear about it.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
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I feel like Mr. Magoo stepping over the crocodiles and anacondas in his path oblivious to his risk. I apparently got to Petersons between its quality problems, and I've had nothing but good experiences with PC on pipes (especially prices!) and tobacco (especially a ladder or two). I suspect purchasing Petersons from smokingpipes.com helped because they seem to do some quality control at the retail level. It's not all sweetness and light; I've had a few clunkers in my purchasing experiences, but I guess the successes have out-shined the clunkers, and have certainly outnumbered them.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,153
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Here is the thread on this: http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/no-stanwell-pipes-at-smokingpipescom

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
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Here is the thread on this: http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/no-stanwell-pipes-at-smokingpipescom
Thanks for digging that up Peck.
Reminds me,

such a shame that Castello production moved to France,

but I'll get over it,

eventually.

:wink:
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/castello-to-france

:P

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
35,414
Pipe sales dropped like a stone, yet the market in artisanal and estate pipes seems to have blossomed as never before, as has up-market pipe tobacco blending. A lot of turmoil in this quiet sector of the world. Pipe manufacturing seems to have shifted toward Italy and France from other countries. Since both these countries have a long history of pipe-making, and since France seems to have originated the successful use of briar as a primary material, this seems appropriate in many ways.

 

Perique

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
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I'm a big Stanwell fan, and have both Danish and Italian Stanwell pipes. While I abhor the dynamics that lead to the shift in production, I must admit that the Italian Stanwells are good smokers for the money. Solid, utilitarian pipes for those not concerned about grain.

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
3,672
1,633
Call me crazy, but I would rather have a Danish made estate Stanwell. Obviously a little more expensive, but... This 50-60 year old pipe I'm sure would be an excellent smoker, 37 g. Note the uncrowned S, which dates the pipe more to the 1950's. Replacement tenon, yes I see that and it's reflected in the price. These older Stanwell's are getting harder and harder to find... No affiliation, it just caught my eye.
http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=177243

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,237
206
For the record, BC is not involved in manufacturing Stanwell, they are being made in Italy by a long-standing manufacturer whose products I've sold since I started in the business almost forty years ago. We've had very few negative comments about the current Stanwells.
Russ

 

fadingdaylight

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,189
0
Thanks for clearing that up Russ. I was pretty sure they had just relocated, but I was unaware of the upper level business conflicts that led SP to stop carrying them.

 
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