Thompson Cigar, one of the oldest mail-order cigar companies in the United States, is closing its headquarters and warehouse in Tampa, Florida, and moving to Pennsylvania.
The company was acquired last year by cigar giant Scandavanian Tobacco Group (STG) for $62 million. STG also owns premium cigar maker General Cigar Co. and the massive online and catalog retailer Cigars International. STG plans on integrating Thompson’s operations into its Cigars International facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“From the very beginning, we have been transparent with the Thompson employees,” Craig Reynolds, executive vice president of STG and president of Cigars International, told Cigar Aficionado. “When we acquired Thompson last year, we made it clear we would be transitioning the business to the Pennsylvania office.”
As a result of the big move, more than 100 Thompson employees will be laid off.
STG announced the layoffs to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday. The majority of eliminations will take place on June 29, and will continue in stages throughout the year. The affected positions range from marketing and administrative positions to warehouse and shipping staff.
According to Reynolds, the closure of the Tampa distribution center will not affect consumers. The Thompson Cigar website and catalog business will continue to operate as usual.
“Thompson is not going away,” Reynolds said. “The Thompson business will be maintained. It is not being absorbed into Cigars International. For the customer, everything will be the same. In fact, operating out of the Bethlehem facility, product fulfillment should be even faster for the customer.”
Reynolds says the move will bring new jobs to the facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “There will be many new jobs,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know the exact number, but the move requires that we hire more people.”
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, STG reported an increase in sales and profits for 2018, partially due to the acquisition of Thompson.