The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) has announced a new program called Exclusively for PCA aimed at trying to generate revenue for the trade organization.
In a letter sent to manufacturers earlier this week, the PCA announced that it would allow manufacturers to use its logo as well as Exclusively for PCA branding for products that manufacturers wanted to offer exclusively to retail members of the PCA. The PCA is also willing to supply these manufacturers with an updated list of retailers who have active memberships with the PCA.
In exchange for these resources, the organization is asking for a portion of proceeds from the sale of these products to be donated to the PCA. It did not specify a minimum donation, but it did indicate that some companies have pledged 50 cents per cigar to be donated to the organization. In many ways, this program is similar, albeit less formal, to the Tobacconists’ Association of America’s (TAA) Exclusive Series Program.
The PCA is facing revenue shortfalls due to the cancelation of the 2020 PCA Convention & Trade Show due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. In previous years, the trade show has directly provided 70 percent of the organization’s revenue and indirectly, the revenue share is much greater. Furthermore, this year’s trade show was facing other substantial issues before the coronavirus pandemic. In January, four of the largest manufacturers and exhibitors had announced they would not attend the trade show due to dissatisfaction with the organization and its leadership.
In response to the January news and declining retailer attendance, a variety of manufacturers announced that they would introduce cigars that would only be sold in-person at the 2020 PCA Convention & Trade Show. Those manufacturers had not committed to providing a portion of sales to the PCA, rather, the cigars were to serve as an added incentive for retailers to attend the trade show. Some of those cigars have since gone on sale despite the lack of an in-person event.
One obvious complication with the Exclusively for PCA initiative is the timing. The 2020 PCA Convention & Trade Show was scheduled to take place July 11-14. Furthermore, the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the number of new releases and in many cases, outright delayed their launches until 2021.
The revenue shortfalls at the PCA had led to the majority of the organization’s staff being furloughed. Beyond the furloughs, the PCA has not provided specifics about the current state of its finances.