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April 1998
Volume 25
Number 2

RETAILER & TOBACCO INDUSTRY NEWS (cont.)

Davidoff Breaks Ground for U.S. Headquarters Expansion
Davidoff of Geneva recently held a ceremony to break ground for a new 40,000-square-foot warehouse facility, to be completed by mid-September. The new structure is an expansion of Davidoff's U.S. headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, and will be located across from the company's existing building. An additional 20,000 square feet of space is being designed to handle the company's anticipated growth.

On hand to celebrate the event were Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, employees of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., the owners of the property and architect and builder of the new facility, and various members of Stamford and Bridgeport's economic community.

The company, which has been headquartered in Stamford for the past eight years, currently utilizes existing warehouse space located in the building's lower level, supplemented with space in Bridgeport's foreign trade zone, to store its products. According to Christoph Kull, president of Davidoff of Geneva, as the company experienced rapid growth in the past several years, it outgrew the Bridgeport facility. In addition, trucking the products the 25-28 miles between Stamford and Bridgeport several times a day became cumbersome and costly. The company also felt it made sense to have a proper facility for product storage and to maintain control over the proper humidity and temperature. The new warehouse will also enable the company to provide more regular deliveries and fewer out of stock products. Overall, Davidoff will have better control of all operations, as all components of the company will now be in a centralized location, and a greater quality control over all products.

The new facility will be a sub-zone of Bridgeport's foreign trade zone, made possible by an agreement between the cities of Stamford and Bridgeport with support from the state of Connecticut. The use of a foreign trade zone allows Davidoff to import and store more inventory, since payment of taxes and duties is deferred until stock is shipped out of the zone. This saves the company millions in financing costs as moneys do not have to be put up front to cover the taxes. With the new warehouse space, Davidoff says it will be able to keep a larger store of cigars on hand for a longer period of time to ensure proper aging, insuring increased cigar quality for the market. - Diamond

Budd Leather to Handle Mastro de Paja Humidors, Accessories
The Budd Leather Co. has announced that it will be administering all sales of Mastro De Paja (USA) Ltd.'s extensive line of fine handcrafted humidors and cigar accessories. In addition, Budd Leather Co. will also be responsible for Mastro's pipe division. All sales will be coordinated from Budd Leather's New York office, while all shipping and billing will be coordinated from Mastro De Paja's Atlanta office. Budd Leather Co., 460 Bayview Ave., PO Box 960132, Inwood, NY 11096, Tel: (516) 239-5119, Fax: (516) 239-5148.
800-JR Cigar Buys Casa Blanca, Natco
800-JR Cigar, Inc. has acquired Casa Blanca, Inc., the owner and operator of the El Rey del Mundo Smoker's Bar and Lounge within JR Cigar's Whippany, New Jersey location. The bar has won several national design awards.

The company has also announced a stock for stock purchase of Nicaraguan American Tobacco Inc. (Natco), the exclusive importer of all cigars being produced by Nicaragua American Tobacco S.A., a manufacturer of handmade cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua. The acquisition of Natco will provide JR Cigar with direct cost savings on approximately 20 million premium cigars annually.


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