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 The beginning of the end?

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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: The beginning of the end?   Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:23 pm

I finished work a little earlier today so decided to take a walk into town.  It was a real spur of the moment thing.  I didn't even know where I was headed; I just started and began to enjoy the walk.  

My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

I left with a couple of sticks feeling as dejected as the proprietor looked when I first walked in.  The sad thing is, I'd gladly support a local BM but not if I'm met with that each time.  I do hope this particular BM survives partly because its got a long history, opening around the mid 40s.  Me... I'll probably swing by from time to time but I recon I'll be exploring the opportunities that the internet has to offer. I've seen a real decline in this BM and can't help thinking this heralds the beginning of the end.
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GeoffC

GeoffC

Age : 52
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-23

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:03 pm

Working my local B&M to bring in pipe tobac. Kind of got a few people in the shop hooked. They have been selling on consignment a local carver's pipes. They will like be making their first tobac order for the shop soon. I hope it is well received in the area.
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daveinlax

daveinlax

Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:25 pm

Tins don't move in my shop unless I do them a favor by buying them. His customers want the same old relabeled bulk blends they've been buying for decades. Unfortunately some of his best sellers were McClelland's. He has a bag of my favorite so I have something to buy when I stop in. Shocked
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Zanaspus

Zanaspus

Age : 56
Registration date : 2009-12-27

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:13 am

Having worked in retail at small establishments, I can truly say, "Internet killed the B&M star."
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JimInks

JimInks

Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2012-08-31

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:12 pm

Zanaspus wrote:
Having worked in retail at small establishments, I can truly say, "Internet killed the B&M star."

I agree with that.
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Brewdude
Moderator
Brewdude

Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:16 pm

Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:56 am

Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

Yes, good points Rande, and I'm with you.

It's a difficult situation. Through speaking with him before, there's precious few pipers in our area, and I don't get through enough 'baccy to justify him stocking for my interests. Most of his trade now is, as you identified, through folks popping in for fags, most especially rollies and judging by the humidor room which seems out of proportion with the rest of the shop (it's unusually large) chaps popping in for a cigar.

Your point around social media has struck a chord though. I've been embracing Twitter recently and have seen how effective it can be at connecting folks. So I'm wondering if I can reach out to those hidden pipers in the 'shire and use the BM as a focal point for our pipe smoking. The golden version would be to have a well stocked BM with lots of traffic and a smoking lounge.

If I have a crack at this at least I can say I tried. And if it fails, well, sad as it is there's always the internet.




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Brewdude
Moderator
Brewdude

Age : 66
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: The beginning of the end?   Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:04 am

Stick wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
My mind started wandering to the weather warming up which for me heralds the opportunity to enjoy a pipe more often (I only smoke outside).  I then started to think about some of the blends that my cellar's a bit low on so set a course for our only BM in town.  As I arrived at the window I caught the proprietor with his head in his hands, elbows on the counter.  He looked properly dejected.  I went through to the back room where the pipe tobacco's kept and asked if he had any Sammy G blends.  'Nope'.  'Any MacBarren?' 'Nope'.  A quick scan of the shelves showed they were generally lacking.  
'We don't keep those sort of blends because no one's ever asked for them'.
'Really?'
'Yes'.
'I think I'll take a look at your cigars'.

Mate, I might have responded summat like "Right, but I'm asking for them now and would buy them if you stocked them. Additionally, there are other local pipers that would as well. Shall I give you a list of my choices and see what you can do? It would be a shame to not patronize you seeing as you're my local tobacconist and have to resort to the internet. So how about it? There's a good chap".

On the one hand I can see his point, if up until now most punters came in asking for fags and cigars. However, you might try and persuade him that there is a silent congregation of local pipers that would relish the chance to have tins of the finest blends and educate him on such.

You might also try and recruit other pipe aficionados through social media in your area, or even ask if you could post an advert for a pipe gathering locally. Yes, with the restrictions on smoking in a public place I realize this does create problems. None that can't be sorted, mind.

Just a thought. And of course there's a wealth of suppliers in Blighty that have what you seek. Equally, supporting a B&M that's been around as long as they have deserves some TLC. Don't you agree?


Cheers,

RR

Yes, good points Rande, and I'm with you.

It's a difficult situation.  Through speaking with him before, there's precious few pipers in our area, and I don't get through enough 'baccy to justify him stocking for my interests.  Most of his trade now is, as you identified, through folks popping in for fags, most especially rollies and judging by the humidor room which seems out of proportion with the rest of the shop (it's unusually large) chaps popping in for a cigar.  

Your point around social media has struck a chord though.  I've been embracing Twitter recently and have seen how effective it can be at connecting folks.  So I'm wondering if I can reach out to those hidden pipers in the 'shire and use the BM as a focal point for our pipe smoking.  The golden version would be to have a well stocked BM with lots of traffic and a smoking lounge.  

If I have a crack at this at least I can say I tried.  And if it fails, well, sad as it is there's always the internet.






Right then, that's the spirit. Jolly good on you mate!


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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