So far it has been an interesting trade show. Much…much smaller than before. With the absence of many larger brands such as the “Big Four” (Davidoff, General, Altadis and Drew Estate) , La Flor Dominicana, RoMaCraft, Micallef and Casa Cuevas to name a few, the show floor is much smaller and much less busier too.
One thing is for sure, the retailers who came, came to buy. I mean seriously after a pandemic year, cigar shortages across the industry and TPE taking place two months prior, if you came here you came to buy. Many retailers we have spoken with also do not plan on staying all weekend either. Most have said two days is enough for them with the reduced amount of exhibitors and with what they have already purchased this year.
First time exhibitors we were excited to see were El Septimo Cigars who while they have been in business for quite some time, are making their debut in the United States market. Another which I think is perhaps the most hyped booth of the whole show is that of Ferio Tego led by Michael Herklots. While Ferio Tego had no cigars to display or sample, it was exciting to see them here and hear about where they plan to be this year.
The PCA had its welcome party Friday night and it was great way for everyone to get together and reconnect after being separated for over a year. Panels were held for retailers and manufactures on the state of where the industry currently is. Retailers talking about how they have handled the events of past year on the consumer sales end and manufacturers talking about the logistics of supplying retailers with inventory.
Much is more to come in the next few days although I expect things to slow down Monday mid day. Don’t forget to stay tuned for our interviews from the show floor on YouTube.