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An Interview With Robert Levin

Owner, Holt's Cigar Store, Inc., and the Ashton Brand
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Danny DeVito, Winter 96

(continued from page 14)

Levin: We started slowly. We began dealing with Europe in 1988. Initially, there were a lot of taxes and duties on Dominican cigars. They finally passed a law which lowered the duties off of Dominican cigars so they became very competitive, and the sales took off in Europe.

CA: In 1996, what will Ashton's sales be worldwide?

Levin: Worldwide, 2.5 million to 3 million cigars.

CA: And how much of that will be in Europe?

Levin: Unfortunately, because of the market in the U.S., Europe maybe will only get 200,000.

CA: So in 1996, you hope to sell about 2.8 million cigars in the United States versus 1.7 in 1995. That's up over 1 million cigars in one year.

Levin: Yes.

CA: You're up over 1 million cigars. And what is your back-order situation right now?

Levin: About 3 million cigars.

CA: Your back orders equal about one year's sales.

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