Cigars Intertnational has announced the location of its first Florida store: Pasco County.
The world’s largest cigar retailer has submitted plans for a 9,500-square-foot standalone store in Wesley Chapel, Fla., about 20 miles north of downtown Tampa. The new store will be located on Creek Grass Way, off of the junction of US-75 and State Road 56. It will join an existing retail cluster that inncludes the Tampa Premium Outlets, a Costco and a variety of restaurants.
This store is over 50 percent larger than The Colony, Texas location which is north of Dallas and opened late last year. It will be similar—including a large humidor, bar and outdoor patio—though the Wesley Chapel store will get a conference room, something that is not part of The Colony location.
While this will be the first Cigars International retail operation in the Tampa area, it’s not the first Tampa area store for CI’s parent, Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Last year, STG acquired Thompson Cigar Co. of Tampa. Earlier this year, STG moved most of Thompson’s operations to CI’s headquarters in Pennsylvania.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, this store will likely employ 30-35 people and Thompson’s current retail employees will be offered positions at the new location, though the two stores are located 20 miles apart.
STG has said that it has plans two stores in the Tampa area, though the second location has not been announced. Mat Cook, director of retail operations, told halfwheel that the company is still working on beginning construction for its Fort Worth, Texas store, which was originally slated to be opened later this year.
As for Wesley Chapel, it’s expected be opened in the first half of 2020.
Once completed, the new locations would bring the total number of Cigars International stores to seven: three in Pennsyvalnia, two in Texas and two in Florida. In addition, the company operates the largest mail order cigar business through Cigars International, Cigarbid.com, Cigar.com and Pipesandcigars.com.