Since 2014, Cigar Aficionado rounds out each year by blindly smoke testing and rating cigars on a 0 to 100-point scale. The scale ranges from 0 being don’t waste your money to 100 being considered a classic. The top 25 cigars of 2018 received ratings from 93 to 96.
Retailers need to take advantage of this list from more than an educational standpoint. Whether or not you agree with the rankings, consumers look to experts to help select their next smoke. Utilize the following 3 tips to guarantee your store benefits from this yearly lineup:
Review Your Inventory
If you do not carry all 25 cigars, a customer may leave your store disappointed and take their business to your local competitor. Ensure that your retail price of each of the top 25 either matches or is lower than the cost displayed in Cigar Aficionados website and magazine. Keep your customers satisfied with consistency.
See How Your 2018 Sales Measured Up
How frequently were your customers purchasing one of the top 25 cigars in 2018? How did sales of these cigars compare to your other inventory? Understanding your current consumer preferences to these cigars is beneficial. Maybe 15 of the top cigars are currently your top sellers and you have not sold 4 listed cigars during the last month. Better understanding this information about your inventory will help you make decisions moving forward.
Display, Display, Display
Depending on your stores current lay-out, total square footage, and humidor location, there are a variety of ways to display these cigars to influence consumer purchases. Two options that will bring emphasis and attention to the top 25 cigars is either having a designated separate table or dedicating a section of your humidor to these cigars. Draw attention to this selection by clearly labeling the display as Cigar Aficionado: Top Cigars of 2018. Educate your employees on the rating system and have a Cigar Aficionado magazine next to the display. Let your customers immerse themselves in the knowledge the magazine can provide them. This will ensure that your customers feel confident about their purchase.