Les Mann is once again selling S.T.Dupont lighters.
Coles of London, the U.S. distributor for S.T.Dupont, has hired Mann as the company’s vp of major accounts. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Mann, who worked as the evp of sales for S.T.Dupont from 2000-2008 when Colibri handled the French company’s U.S. distribution.
In 2008, Lotus MJYX took over the U.S. distribution for S.T.Dupont while Mann stayed at Colibri until 2018. He then joined Quality Importers Trading Co. for a little more than a year and has spent the last 18 months working for TP Brands Worldwide Inc., a flooring company.
Mann has long made his affinity for S.T.Dupont’s luxury products well-known, even after he was no longer responsible for selling the items. Now, he joins a company that has essentially no experience selling to cigar stores, something he views as a fresh start for S.T.Dupont in the U.S. Coles of London took over S.T.Dupont’s U.S. distribution of tobacco-related products in January, the company is also S.T.Dupont’s U.S. pen distributor.
Mark Cole of Coles of London told halfwheel that the company hoped to grow the distribution to 200-250 cigar stores. Mann will focus on 40-50 of the key accounts.
“The goal is not mass quantities of customers, it’s selected customers in selected markets, that understand and deserve the brand,” said Mann.
Cole said that the company has relationships with around 100-110 cigar stores since taking over the distribution in January.
Mann started working this week and expects to be on the road visiting stores shortly. He will be one of the six people selling S.T.Dupont tobacco-related products for Coles of London, though unlike the others he will focus on a fraction of the stores and won’t be selling pens. That being said, Mann said that Coles of London anticipates that some cigar stores will want to carry not only S.T.Dupont writing instruments but also Visconti, an Italian luxury pen company that Coles of London also distributes in America.
The company will be exhibiting at TPE 2021 next month and Cole hinted that a new collection from S.T.Dupont might be on display.