Well, what can I say? Absolutely gobsmacked (for once) by the insane volume of online sales this past quarter. We have achieved double the sales in said quarter alone than the entirety of last year; the hard work is starting to pay off! We have taken on the giants in the cigar industry and can now, with certainty, say that we are now becoming a part of that illustrious group.
In order to achieve this, we had to invest a great deal into the online portion of the business, hiring titans of the brand world, Hampton Agency and solo Search Engine Marketing guru, Claire Hamilton to build, monitor and massage our behemoth. Products ranking high on Google searches should be the focus for any ecommerce site and is especially true for a niche market such as cigars. To do this (in a nutshell) you need two things: a solid website that adheres to the correct on-page technical structure required by search engines, and a strong brand and content strategy. Thus far, the investment into the brand and website has been extensive, and we continue to prioritise and increase investment into the company for the next phase of development (more on that later).
Sales in general have been at an all-time high. The usual suspects continue to sell well (regionals and limited editions) and mixed singles are always top of heap, but we’ve seen a massive surge in sales of core range whole boxes. Sales to new markets are also booming; we continue to supply this corner of Scotland and are seeing increased sales from the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas. We’re seeing a huge increase in sales to England (London and the surrounding areas, in particular) and abroad, to the likes of China, the EU etc.
The launch of the long awaited British regional, the El Rey del Mundo La Reina also played a significant part on our successful quarter. We received one of the largest allocations in the country, which sold out completely before we even took delivery. The launch was a huge hit, as they tend to be and nothing, but praise was heaped upon the new Lancero. I’ve had the pleasure of herfing several of them and can confirm they hold their own with the best of best and is a welcome addition of another Lancero into the fold; a vitola seldom seen these days.
Drew Estate continue their increasing dominance in the New World cigar sector; we are never able to keep up with sales of the Tabak Especial range. They smoke incredible on their own but can be paired with pretty much any beer and whisky, hence making them so popular with our horde of hedonists. Adding the Drew Estate Sun Grown series to our range has been a welcome addition and are selling incredibly well so far.
We will soon be taking delivery of the Alec Bradley Black Market Esteli Gran Toro Europe Exclusive 2019, a unique vitola exclusive to the European market and jam packed full of some of the most exquisite tobaccos that Nicaragua has to offer!
The Romeo y Julieta Anejados Churchill Tubos have also just launched, and we will be receiving a very handsome allocation of them, ensuring we will not be running out anytime soon.
Last but not least, we have even more exciting news with the announcement that our CASC shop on King Street will be opening this October. A long time in the making, we know, but we’re now on course to open Aberdeen’s only specialist Cigar and Whisky shop. The walk-in humidor will host the largest selection of cigars in Scotland by far, and our whisky portfolio will rival the best of them. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more news coming soon.
Until next time, happy herfing and dramming!