retail but also in domestic markets. Besides actively doing face-to-face trainings, we implemented our Jim Young, Senior own state-of-the-art eLearnVice President and Chief Commercial ing platform the Davidoff of Officer, Oettinger Geneva Academy.” Davidoff In travel retail, Davidoff worked with its retail partners and recently opened new walk-in humidors at Zurich and Moscow Sheremetyevo airports. A similar unit began trading in October in Geneva, and in November, Davidoff will have two in Istanbul’s new airport in partnership with Gebr. Heinemann. The strategy is to follow the travelers and their spending. The company’s energy and resources are directed towards the places where the traveler is concentrated. These locations make up an important part of its business, notes Young. Major product launches for next year will include a range to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Pig. The company performs well with these annual Chinese gifts in travel retail, as well as the accessories that go with them. Part of this success lies in the special cigar blend that changes each year. “Our consumers usually expect more than a package change,” says Alice Roeseler, Marketing Manager Global Travel Retail, Oettinger Davidoff. “The blend changes each time. We have been able to satisfy their expectations of a very special blend created explicitly for purposes of the Chinese zodiac launch. The year of the Pig cigar is a Gran Toro format with a pigtail and will delight our consumers Davidoff has recently opened new walk-in humidors at Zurich and with woody, peppery yet creamy sweet flavors.” Moscow Sheremetyevo airports
Exciting sensory journey
Vision for Davidoff
From a commercial point of view, Young believes it is a distinct advantage that Davidoff has its own brick-and-mortar stores in a variety of places around the world: Europe, the US, and Asia. “We grow our own tobacco in the Dominican Republic and Honduras and manufacture in both countries. We are cigar makers and we own retail. We like to call it ‘From crop to shop’, which is really important in terms of being completely in control of our quality standards, but we also work very closely with partners all the way up that chain, from buying tobacco all the way up to partnering with retailers who have our products in their stores.” Young’s vision is to make sure that the experience the consumer has encountering and buying its product – whether it’s in the store owned by Davidoff or operated by a partner – is just the same. This means merchandising products in a way that is very shoppable and ensuring that retail staff are engaging and well trained. “They must be knowledgeable to encourage the shopper to make a smart choice. Providing that experience to the consumer is the vision that we have,” he says. “To do that we need to be really good with our commercial partners in travel
For the upcoming holiday season, Davidoff has also introduced new gift formats, including Davidoff Gift Selections. The selections, available from November/December 2018, feature cigars from the four corners of the world, crafted with a variety of tobaccos, and represent an exciting sensory journey into the rich flavors of some of the most sought-after Davidoff blends. In addition, the new and limited Gran Torpedos bring the exotic and intense flavors of Nicaragua, Brazil and the Yamasá region of the Dominican Republic, while the Yamasá Robusto is now available in a tubo version. Turning to the challenge of tobacco health warnings, Young notes that the impact of these on consumption and purchases is low. He has strong views on these government regulations. “We haven’t seen any impact,” he says. “It’s partly because our consumers are typically 35+ and they’re educated. The government doesn’t make decisions for them. The flipside of this is that the design and sizes of health warnings is different from country to country. The whole point of that is to make it costly and add complexity on companies like ours. It’s a reality and it’s not going to get easier.” He continues: “From Davidoff ’s point of view, we need to comply with the regulations and adapt as they adapt, and we need to do that in a systematic way. We have to create complying with regulation as a core competence of our company and we’re well on our way to be able to do that,” he concludes.
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