STG splits portfolio in two in the American market. The portfolio will be divided between General Cigars and the newly formed Forged Cigar Company. Internationally nothing will change, as STG never uses the General Cigars name in international markets anyway.
Forged Cigar Company
The new company is operating independently with its own salesforce. The focus is on the brick & mortar stores all over the USA. The brands that are falling moving over from General Cigars are Bolivar, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, Chillin’ Moose, Cofradia, and Diesel. These are the Bolivar, Partagas, and La Gloria Cubana cigars hailing from anywhere but Cuba. In the future, the company might act as a distributor for third party brands as well.
The rest of STG’s portfolio remains with General Cigars. That includes the new world versions of Cohiba, Hoyo De Monterrey, and Punch. As well as the best-seller brands Macanudo and CAO amongst others.
Investing in the cigar industry
“When we announced last year our withdrawal from the annual PCA Show, we committed to investing funds back into the premium cigar category,” says STG North America Senior Vice President Régis Broersma, in a press release. “Today, with The Forged Cigar Company, we are doing just that with a multimillion-dollar investment in the brick and mortar channel. In having two separate sales companies, we will have more feet on the street to better serve the needs of STG’s retail partners. And the ability to be more agile in supporting our current and future brands.”
That multimillion-dollar investment comes with 12 sales reps with years of experience. The national sales manager is long time General Cigars employee Sean Hardiman. The Forged Cigar Company will also leverage relationships with its proprietary network of cigar factories to deliver product innovations that Broersma describes as “giving the retailer and consumer what they want when they want it.”
“I’m excited to lead this independent network. My team and I will support each brand under the Forged umbrella with its own unique programming, created and executed in partnership with brick and mortar retailers. And we will focus on helping our retail partners grow their business,” says Hardiman. “The Forged team will be ready to hit the streets running on February 1st. We’re looking forward to making our mark on the premium cigar category and to partnering with our network of retailers across the U.S.”