How is the Cigar Industry Being Impacted by the Covid Pandemic?

May 15, 2020

How is the Cigar Industry Being Impacted by the Covid Pandemic?

The world is currently in the midst of a global pandemic.  Serious effects of the current crisis are being felt in every corner of the earth.  Not since the Second World War has such an event impacted this many people.  Beyond the actual pandemic itself, this situation is having far-reaching effects on the economy and people’s livelihoods.

The Cigar industry is not immune to these effects.  We are being hit just as bad as any other industry.  The closure of the country, in fact, the world, is rippling through every aspect of the industry.  While some sectors are slightly benefiting from the current situation, most are suffering, in some cases dramatically.  Let’s take a look at how the COVID pandemic is impacting the cigar industry.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Manufacturers

Manufacturers are, of course, the heart and soul of this industry.  They include the farmers, the factories, and anyone affiliated with the actual creation of a cigar.  This is where the pandemic is hitting the hardest of all. Without manufacturers, even the retailers that are still open, will not be able to restock product.

The effects start at the factories.  Factories in Honduras have remained closed for over a month, so there is no product being produced at all.  In the Dominican Republic, some factories are slowly starting to reopen, with special provisions.

While the creation of products will be much slower than usual, at least they will be able to keep the rolling going on some level.  Nicaragua is almost back to regular working conditions, so we shouldn’t see that huge of an effect on the Nicaraguan manufacturers.

Besides their actual factories, manufacturers are having issuing importing the product to the US and transporting it to the necessary locations.  Mail carriers are stretched thin as it is, so being able to move product has been an issue.

There is a bright side with manufacturers.  Everyone I have spoken to is determined to keep moving forward and has been providing for all their workers during the crisis.

Covid affecting the cigar industry

What Coronavirus Means to Retailers

Throughout the US, cigar retailers are starting to feel the effects of the pandemic.  Retailers can basically be split into two major groups: online retailers and brick and mortar locations.  While both groups are experiencing drastic changes, they are being affected in different ways.

E-commerce websites are experiencing a slight boost in sales.  This is due to several factors, including brick and mortar retailers being not able to open and people having slightly more free time to enjoy a cigar.

However, there are other effects that online retailers are facing.  Warehouses are mostly being run with smaller teams, and as mentioned before, mail and package carriers are experiencing significant delays.  This is making it harder for retailers to get products in the hand of the customers, although we are all working towards the best possible options.

From a retail perspective, the real victims right now are the brick and mortar stores.  With shelter in place laws being enforced around the country, many stores have found their doors closed completely.  Others are trying to adapt by operating curbside pick-up options.

These stores are also finding that their lounges are closed, which can hurt sales beyond just cigars.  If a store has a bar or restaurant portion, they are unable to serve any patrons.  Customers who cannot visit the lounge may find themselves simply ordering online instead of using the pick-up option.


This is a difficult time, not just for the cigar industry but for the world.  What the industry needs from its customers right now is understanding.  There may be longer delivery times, or your store or website may have some industry issues.  Just bear with them for now, they need your support now more than ever.


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