Oliva Cigars partner of Cigarpage. The Belgian owners of Oliva Cigars, the Vandermarliere family, now has a share in Brandshopper, the parent company of Cigarpage.com. And with that, Oliva Cigars and the large online retailer now have close ties.
Brandshopper is the brainchild of Keith Meier. Meier was also one of the founders of Cigars International. The wholesale division of Cigars International, Meier & Dutch, still carries his name. Cigars International was born in 1996. 11 years later Maier and his companions sold it to Swedish Match. When Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco Group went into a joint venture, Cigars International became part of the new conglomerate.
Meier is also the founder of cigarbid, the annual cigarfest in Pennsylvania is his idea. And while at Cigar International, they acquired cigar.com and incorporated that website into the company. Both cigarbid and cigarfest are now part of STG as well. After his departure at Cigars International, it was just a matter of time before Meier would start something new again. In 2015 that was the case with Cigarpage. But Brandshopper also has an online hunting store and an online outdoors store.
“The new investment will help accelerate growth and provide the extra push to acquire greater market share in this environment,” says Meier in a press release. “It was important to work with the right partner – and Fred was the one. It was clear early in our discussions that we had a shared vision.”
The Vandermarliere family has a legacy in the cigar industry. A legacy that started in 1926. Maurits Vandermarliere started making cigars in his attic. But over the next 95 years, his family business grew and grew. The Vandermarliere family is one of the few family-owned manufacturers of dry-cured short filler cigars in Europe.
Five years ago, the third generation Vandermarliere, Fred, knew the company had to expand in premium handmade cigars. So the family bought Oliva Cigars. In recent years, they renovated both factories in Esteli. Besides cigars, the Vandermarliere family owns a cookie factory in Belgium as well.
“Becoming a partner in an e-tailing business is something which we have been looking into for several years,” says Fred Vandermarliere. “I strongly believe offline and online sales have a future alongside each other. Keith as our CEO will continue to do what he has been doing so well with Brandshopper.”
Not the only one
Several cigar manufacturers are owners of stakeholders in online retailers. General Cigars owner STG owns cigars International, cigarbid, cigar.com, Thompson, and a few other websites. They produce brands such as CAO, Macanudo, and many more. Altadis USA owns JR Cigars. Ashton owns Holts, both the physical store as the online retail store. And now Oliva Cigars is a partner of Cigarpage by becoming a stakeholder in Brandshopper.
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