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An Interview With Dr. Reto Cina

President and Chief Executive Officer, Oettinger/Davidoff Group
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Andy Garcia, Mar/April 2004

(continued from page 2)

A:  We have them made, but we are doing the whole thing: the advertising, the distribution and everything. For cosmetics, Lancaster is our licensee. For Cognac, it is Hennessy, and so on.


Q: What is the breakdown of stores that you own?

A: We started, years ago, buying tobacco retailers in Switzerland because we were aware that sooner or later we would have the situation that this retail business would no longer be attractive. We would have less retail shops and we had to have an outlet where we can promote our own brands. At the end of the day, the retail shop will be the only place where you can promote your products. Having the full vertical integration coming from production, wholesaling and also controlling the retail business, we have 100 percent control.

There are 48 Davidoff flagship, or pilot, stores worldwide. These are stores that carry the Davidoff logo on the storefront and feature the entire Davidoff product range, from cigars to fragrances to Cognac and other Davidoff products. Among them are the Madison Avenue store and the newly opened shop at Columbus Circle in New York, four in Las Vegas, seven others in North and South America, 18 in Europe, 16 in Asia and one in the Middle East. Of these flagship stores, Davidoff owns eight. The remaining 40 are franchised. In addition, we have 150 shops in Germany, 26 in Switzerland, two in Belgium and two in Holland. These carry a variety of Davidoff and other brands.


Q:  How is the cigar business divided between countries?

A: First, the biggest market is still the U.S., with slightly more than 20 percent, followed by, changing from one year to the next, three countries: Germany, France and Spain. One year France is in the second position, the other year it is Germany, and so on. The fifth is Switzerland, followed by Turkey, then all the rest.


Q: Are there some cigar brands in your portfolio that maybe do great in one country, but aren't spectacular in others?

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