The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) conducted a survey the week before Christmas on buying patterns. Survey results indicate an increase in sales for 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.
This follows a similar survey that IPCPR conducted for the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend which also showed an increase in sales when compared to 2016.
The organization reported a response of 96 U.S. based retailers (up from the 68 who responded to the Thanksgiving survey), including some owners that provided answers covering their multi-sales operation. While a relatively small sample set, it does provide an indicator on how the end of year buying season is going for the retail segment in the cigar industry. The survey consisted of three questions asking retailers to compare sales for the week before Christmas (December 18th the 24th) to the previous year’s sales.
The survey results indicated an increase in sales volume by 55% of the respondents. While most retailers did see a larger increase in foot traffic, indications are that the customers who did visit shops increased spending. The survey questions did not ask for quantifiable data in terms of sales transactions, customer counts, or spending – simply a relative comparison of this year compared to last year.
The three questions and the results gathered were:
Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ total sales volume over the Pre-Christmas Week up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2016?
Up 55% (53)
Down 18% (26)
About the Same 26% (17)
Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ store traffic over the Pre-Christmas Week up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2016?
Up 45% (43)
Down 19% (27)
About the Same 38% (26)
Was your premium tobacco store(s)’ average spend per customer over the Pre-Christmas weekend up, down or relatively flat compared to the same period in 2016?
Up 51% (49)
Down 16% (11)
About the Same 35% (36)
The results were statistically very close to what was reported for the Thanksgiving Weekend. Retailers reported an increase in sales volume of 56% for that period when compared to what was reported before.
Details of the Thanksgiving survey can be found here.