Even in 2019, the stereotype of what a tobacco store is can still hurt business, even if said store is not even close to what it is portrayed as. Many years ago, I use to deliver products for my store to other businesses around Chicagoland and Southern Wisconsin. I’ve been in hundreds of smoke shops, liquor stores and gas stations for my job.
Many of those stores I delivered to are indeed, what people view as a tobacco store. Some of you may have been in a few of these places. Do you see a place that has so many things in so many spots that it makes it difficult to navigate? Is the place dirty so much, that you want to take a shower when you get home? Cluttered so much to the point where your claustrophobia kicks in?
Trust me, I am a claustrophobic myself. I can’t stand it. It’s even worse if you just want to use their bathroom. So many of these stores also sell products that have absolutely nothing to do with the tobacco business. Examples of these may include, but aren’t limited to the following: Swords, knives, other weapons, blankets and wigs. Yes, you read that last one right. Wigs. For your head!
I’ve seen them in tobacco stores. You may have too. Maybe one of these days, you’ll need a new blanket for your bed to hide your nunchucks under them in the event that someone breaks in requiring you to protect yourself while wearing your wig. Trust me, it’s possible!
The owners of these stores are usually ones who do not care about their business. They just expect the money to fall into their lap. Others may care. But the problem is, they don’t know anything about the products they are selling. It’s so bad, they steal other store’s ideas because they are desperate. Even worse, some owners of competing stores decide to get coked up and drunk behind the wheel only to total their vehicle out of pure anger that they can’t compete with us. Get a cab, folks.
What’s the point of this post you may ask? Simple. Over the years, customers come in with comments such as: “You have a lot of space in this store.” Now, I try to be nice to ones who don’t understand the reasons behind my decisions. But, in a sense, I do feel offended when one makes this comment. I have a lot of space in my store because I believe in making my customers feel comfortable walking in. I don’t want them to feel claustrophobic. The store looks great. It’s clean.
Now, my levels of OCD aren’t exactly as high as Jack Nicholson’s in the movie “As Good As It Gets.” I care about my store. This isn’t just a job for me. This is my career. I love what I do. That’s why I keep it as clean as it is. That’s something all of you can appreciate.
So, when it comes to something like Kratom, CBD or a vaporizer, just remember that we have sold these products for years. I put in a lot of time to find only the most reputable companies to buy products like these from. Do not go to other websites to read forums on products. Don’t bother with reviews of these things because let’s be honest: Anybody can write anything they want when they want whether it’s positive or negative.
“I read online that I shouldn’t trust head shops for Kratom.”
That is another quote I have heard from several people over the years. My sarcastic response is as follows: “I also read online that drinking bleach is good for you. Do you believe that?”
I think I’ve made my point.
We are the tobacco store re-imagined. Since 2002, it’s been a constant battle to defeat stereotypes of tobacco stores. And we’re doing it, despite our local competition forcing others to go online. But in order to continue winning this battle, we need you, our loyal customers, to continue spreading the word about us. Not only does this help us, but it helps you too. It keeps our prices low. It also gives us the resources necessary to continue bringing in newer, better products. These little actions become big because they weaken our competition in their constant, failed attempts to emulate us. Unfortunately for them, we cannot be duplicated nor contained. Our foots are on their throats.
Together, we’re winning. Big time. Let’s not slow down. Show no mercy.