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A Challenge for Retailers

For several years, Habanos S.A. has been boosting up a couple of projects that allow consumers to cozy up with the fascinating realm of Habanos, the preservation and care of the product and the knowledge of their brands

The Habanos Specialist and Habanos Point programs are designed for retailing outlets specialized in tobacco and willing to single themselves out for their dedication to premium cigars by presenting a great offer of Habanos –based on specific information on this topic they have been briefed with- and because they are outfitted with the best conditions for the preservation of the product. Moreover, they build on differentiated professional ties –compared to the rest of the retailers in the market- with the Habanos S.A. exclusive distributor on their premises. 

Thus, Habano aficionados can find three tiers of Habano specialization in the retailing outlets, broken down from top to bottom in the following manner: La Casa del Habano, featuring a direct franchised and contractual relation with Habanos S.A.; the Habanos Specialist, and the Habanos Point- the last two hold no direct contractual relationship with Habanos S.A. because the program is applied locally by the Habanos Exclusive Distributors.

In the case of the Habanos Specialist, the dealer in charge of the business must have a degree from the Habanos Academy’s Senior Course, a condition that guarantees a vast knowledge on the Habano, its traditional production techniques, the different product and brand categories, even basic knowledge on Habano marketing. In addition, the store’s staff has a degree from the Academy’s Junior Course, a warranty of their overall basic knowledge of Habanos. 

In these places, the product must be preserved in optimal conditions of humidity and temperature, and the display of Habanos inside the store must in all cases be higher than 50 percent of the showroom, let alone be in line with the territory’s Habano market share. 

As to Habanos Point, the staff working there should have at least a degree from the Habanos Academy’s Junior Course. 

There, the conservation of Habanos must have optimal conditions in terms of humidity and Habanos in display should cover at least half of the showroom reserved for premium cigars.

The Habanos Point concept is in many cases oriented to those stores where space is limited, yet there is tremendous professionalism and dedication on the part of the owner who, within the limitations the store might have, seeks a differentiation as far as the sale of Habanos is concerned. 

In both cases, it’s important to notice that Habanos S.A. complies with generic guidelines, so Exclusive Distributors are those that abide by the program within their own markets, showing a certain level of flexibility in terms of the particular and regulatory characteristics of each and every market.

Habanos S.A. grants Distributors a number of benefits for their compliance with the program, which can be top priority in the launches, exclusivity on some products, commercial advantages as to prices or payment terms, advertising materials or publicity for the consumers, always in compliance with the local laws and regulations of each and every country.

Furthermore, Habanos S.A. recognizes all Habano Specialists and Habanos Points on its new website, with country-by-country location and exclusive logos for each of the two programs that let surfers find the stores everywhere around the world. 

Throughout 2012, as many as 522 Habanos Specialists opened on the planet, with 14 Distributors having the program implemented, while ten other Distributors will be joining the program in early 2013.

As to the Habanos Point program, it had been implemented in four Distributors by 2012, covering a grand total of 337 retailers. Implementation by a dozen other Distributors is scheduled in the course of 2013.

It must be noted that in both cases, the program is dynamic. That means each year Distributors ought to supervise their compliance with quality standards and differentiation in their outlets, in keeping with the program’s requirements. Therefore, the dealer is submitted to nonstop assessment and could be subjected to a downgrade –it might lose its condition as Habanos Specialist or Habanos Point if it fails to cling to its specialization level. 

Based on all of the above, these two programs of Habano differentiation and specialization by retailers and outlets bear watching indeed because the trend points to a globalization among most Habano Distributors. The offer delivered by Habanos in each and every one of them is up to par with the demand on the part of Habano aficionados who are increasingly and faithfully looking for this exceptional premium cigar in all specialized stores, dealers and retailers. 

Thus, Habanos S.A., by the hand of the La Casa del Habano franchise and the Habanos Specialist ad Habanos Point programs, perfectly covers the trends of consumption and purchase of buyers as it further joins the retailing sector, reinforces its ties with these sellers and buttresses its leading stance in the world market of premium cigars.

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