Villiger Cigars North America has entered into a logistics agreement with Sutliff Tobacco Company that will have Sutliff providing warehouses, logistics and backoffice sales support, including customer invoicing, accounts receivable and customer service. Villiger will retain its own sales, telesales and marketing teams that will stay focused on its retailer and distributor relationships.
The change goes into effect on April 1, 2015.
The move allows Villiger to “focus on our customers, develop new markets and ultimately enhance the Villiger brand equity in the U.S.,” according to Shawna Williams, vice president of Villiger Cigars, speaking via a press release. She added that “our sales representatives and brokers are motivated by the upward rend the Villiger brands are seeing and our customers feel that momentum, fueled by the positive recognition and ratings for our cigars.”
Patrick FitzGerald, CFO of Villiger Cigars, said in a statement that the transition allows Villiger to leverage Sutliff’s operating capacity while allowing Villiger to focus completely on product, customers and market. “We are very determined to obtain a more prominent position in the US cigar market with our own Villiger sales team,” he said, adding that this is a “brand-enhancing move.”
Sutliff Tobacco is equally happy with the announcement, with Paul Creasy, president of the company, saying that he sees the move as increasing customer service levels for retailers and distributors while leveraging the strengths of both operations.
Sutliff Tobacco Company was founded in 1849 and is America’s oldest pipe tobacco company and deals in both mass market and premium selections of pipe tobacco. They are based in Richmond, Virginia and also distribute Mac Baren pipe tobacco, Gizeh rolling papers and Brigham pipes and accessories.