There was once a plan for Foundry Cigar Co. to have a national network of brokers selling its cigars across the country. Yesterday, that plan was officially scrapped.
In a letter sent to retailers, Justin Andrews, Foundry’s sales manager, said that the relationship between CHIMP, Inc. and The Poehlers has ended and General Cigar Co’s reps will be handling sales going forward.
“Unfortunately, over the past 12 months we were unable to establish the nationwide network in the way we had envisioned, leading to this decision,” he wrote. One thing that was not mentioned in the letter was the performance of either brokerage in being a factor in the decision.
Beginning July 1, retailers who had worked with either of those brokers will be placing their Foundry orders through their General Cigar sales rep.
Going with brokers was a unique move for a company such as General, essentially turning over sales of one of its brands to outside reps while maintaining an established in-house sales team for the rest of its extensive portfolio. At the time of the announcement it was heralded as allowing Foundry to deliver “increased flexibility in tailoring programs to retailer needs and the ability to deepen the support of our brands on both the retailer and consumer level” by Michael Giannini, the former creative director of Foundry.
CHIMP, Inc. was announced as Foundry’s broker for the southeast region in March 2016, covering Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. The brokerage is headed by Taven Johnson and Stefan Mayer.
Tom, Ryan and Jason Poehler represented the Foundry brand in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arksanas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.