Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cigar Shop


Today's picture is from about 1900, and it shows an old Cigar Shop. I spent quiet a bit of time this week complaining about modern grocery stores. On a positive note, I will say that I believe cigar shops to be positively old school on customer service. Not that I visit cigar stores or anything. First, each cigar store is run by an owner/proprietor. Each store is unique, and represents the interests and tastes of the owner. They typically have rich warm carpet, lots of woodwork and cabinetry, and then a wonderful walk in humidor. A cigar shop usually will have some fine leather chairs, and you are welcome to sit down, visit with others, read the paper, and enjoy a fine smoke. The owner is passionate about cigars, and if you went in one to buy a fine cigar as a gift, the owner would spend lots of time with you helping you pick out the perfect cigar. I have heard that often when you come out of the humidor with a selection of several cigars, the owner will ask you how much they were, in effect, trusting you to tell him the correct price of his cigars. I think they do this on purpose as a sign of respect to customers. Others out there might have other good examples of exceptional customer service in other niche markets, but for me, I believe Cigar Shops are among the best when it comes to customer service.

18 comments:

  1. You can buy a pack of smokes at any gas station these days but for a high-end product you go to the cigar shop. I think it's the same for any high-end items. Take yarn for example. I can get any kind of mass-produced acrylic junk at wal-mart. But if I want service and quality I go to an independently run, specialty yarn shop.

    And on that note, can I put in a vote for a knitting week?

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  2. I dopn't seem to be able to open your photo today.

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  3. No comment on the cigar store today. I have never smoked or been inside one.

    But I did sell farm machinery to farmers including a few Gentlemen Farmers.
    Our dealership had an area with a big coffee pot (always full) and some over stuffed chairs and a big couch. There was a coffee table that had a few different newspapers on it. It wasn't a big gathering place for farmers and ranchers, but they knew they could meet ther with others and have a free cup of coffee.

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  4. ...an aquired habit of age I guess. Someone dear to me has picked up smoking cigars who said it's a sign of _____ (whatever) but today's cigar shops are narrowed down to online and catalogs for the elite smoke. I'm sure mdLuv1 they would have a field day in a shop like this.

    ps. I must admit I do like the aroma of some cigars, the rich aromas sorta remind me of coffee beans from different parts of the country.

    luv the pic! thanks fo sharing.

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  5. -Picture is not loading for me either.

    You are very correct PJM. Although I am not a cigar smoker I am a pipe man so I do enjoy the atmosphere in the shop of a tobacconist. These days most of my patronage is online. It's just so easy and the nearest brick and mortar retailer is 50 miles away from me.

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  6. No pic for me. Wonder why KHep was able to see it & no one else.

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  7. I would suggest many taylor shops are founded on the lines of the cigar shop. This is especially true of the high end personally taylored shirts and suits. Even a few ready made suit stores present the pleasant enviornment and a warming friendship, but many of them are disappearing due to the hard times we find ourselves in.

    As times get rougher, we may find ourselves going through the long line to be able to self-check ourselves out of the cigar shop and most other stores.

    Good pictures this week, PJM.

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  8. Can't open the photo today. First time that has happened. I should have stayed in bed instead of having to face dissapointment so early in the day!

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  9. sorry dude no picture today , what a bummer , rest of the day will suck.

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  10. I've never been in one but it did call to mind one other thing. I sew a lot, and I find that when I go to the chain fabric stores everything is the same, customer service is iffy, and people don't always have answers. Compare that with a small, independent shop and not only will you find unique things and knowledgable staff, you leave feeling like you've made new friends. I remember my grandma saying how they all used to be like that, but now not so much :(

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  11. It seems that when you go to a shop where they specialise or are a "high-end" shop (and there are high-end grocers as well), then you will find wonderful service from staff who are knowledgeable. In contrast there are the stores that are based upon selling you goods at low prices while maximizing their profits with poor personal service, exemplified in
    self-checkout stations that still appear faster or more convenient to use than a cashier checkout line where you must go in armed with a strategy in order to waste the least amount of time once you have decided to make your purchases, and you will see the conflict we have where we desire high-end service at low-end prices. Sadly, you cannot have it all, it seems.

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  12. Shops like this are sadly about 50-60miles from me.

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  13. There is one in Charleston that looks almost exactly like this!

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  14. Another great photo. Awesome cash register! Pretty woodwork, too.

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  15. Very nice pictures this week! The cash register in today's photo has some writing on top that appears to be German. Betrag = amount, einkaufes = purchase both according to bablefish. Also, the newspapers in the foreground look like they are not English either.

    John

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  16. You make me want to take up cigar smoking to experience this type of customer service.

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  17. Bethany, I totally agree with you re. the chain fabric stores. I've had to explain how to calculate yardage to the clerks who cut the fabric! They've never sewn (or knit or crocheted) anything!

    Knitting Week would be good. Also Sewing Week, and especially Quilting Week! You can see the history of America in quilt patterns.

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  18. you are dead on about the cigar shops. However, they are usually referred to as 'humidors'..."Hey Rick, let's meet at the humidor and burn one"....these are the last oasiis of freedom in a politically correct world. They are rapidly acquiring the flavor of the old speak-easy's...Where I go, the alcohol is served quietly in opaque cups, since tobacco and alcohol require different licenses.

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