IPCPR 2012 Day Two Quick Recap
Day two at the IPCPR was a blur for most. It starts early after a hard night of celebration and a late night of cavorting and goes rocket speed until the five o’clock hour. Our reporters in the field got caught up in the hustle and bustle as well, so we are a little short on direct commentary today. Therefore, today we are going to do our recap a little differently. I’ll show some photos of what we got from our reporters in the field and then provide some of my thoughts of what I have been observing.
Every year when we go to the IPCPR we talk about looking for the angles and trends in our staff meetings leading up to the event. This year is unique in that we have two on the ground and two calling the shots from the home office. In many ways looking at the IPCPR coverage from our team and the subsequent manufacturers and media teams out in the field at the IPCPR provides an interesting perspective. So what I plan on doing today is talking about some of the bigger themes and trends I have been noticing as I have been watching all the reports roll in across the social wires and from our team on the ground.
The Hard Decision every Retailer must make: Everybody wants to catch the buzz of what the hot boutiques have, but that is starting to mean more and more competition in an already crowded marketplace. Humidors are limited in capacity these days and full to the brim. That typically means that every retailer has to make a decision as to not only what they bring in to their shop this year, but also what they are going to get rid of.
With Halfwheel calculating somewhere in the ballpark of 700-800 or so lines and extensions coming out this year, it is becoming quite the challenge for retailers to decide what is worth bringing in. Boutiques have the challenge of trying to catch that small share of space in the humidor and they do this in many ways. But the key for the manufacturer this year is how do they set themselves apart and grab this elusive market share?
The Continued Rise of the Big Stick: Big gauge fans rejoice, the IPCPR has shown you will have a lot of options coming your way this year. Ernesto Carrillo has the Inch launching shortly, Davidoff has added a 5×56 in their Puro d’ Oro line, and quite a few of General Cigar’s new lineup have 6×60 or greater formats. Call it the Costco syndrome if you will, but the US markets obsession with bulk value has crept over and continued to be a strong seller in the market. With the rate of production we have been seeing on the showroom floor it does not appear that this trend will be going away anytime soon.
The Commuter Stick: As much as the big stick commands attention for its perceived bargain status the short format is gaining ground as well. With Jesus Fuego leading the way with his Originals lines and now his new 777 minutos lines he is doing a big favor for the myriad of smokers out there who need a shorter format, because their venues and smoking outlets are becoming less and less. Expect this trend to continue this year and to find growth in new markets as the government continues to try to eradicate nice smoking venues.
We will continue to fill you in as more news becomes available from our reporters on the ground. So stay tuned as we continue to provide coverage from the IPCPR showroom floor.