Posted by Glynn on September 12, 2016
Well the rumours have been going around and I have hinted at it, but sadly GQ Tobaccos is closing down. A combination of new Regulation and slowdown post the EU Referendum has crushed us. This combined with finding out that we can no longer sell our own blends, is too much for my small little outfit to take.
If we had fought on through all this mess, we would have been left offering a reduced range. All the unique and unusual tobaccos we carried from the Gawith’s would have been dropped and GQ Tobaccos would only be offering the same tobaccos the other retailers in the UK stocks. Then when the FDA regs kick in, i would loose even more of my sales of Pipes and Tobacco to America.
We also see in the not too far distant future the UK banning Mail-order/Web sales of tobacco. With the introduction of digital age verification rules, Trading standards have already been testing websites and though the use of pre-paid MasterCard’s, some retailers have had warnings after being caught out. How long it will stay as warnings and not applying fines (which are now in the UK laws) is anyone’s guess. The anti-smoking groups (mainly ASH) will use this as fuel to the already burning fires of banning internet tobacco throughout Europe (some banned it years ago, but it’s spreading). The list is thus so far (that we know of) The Netherlands, Spain, France, Finland, Belgium and now Poland.
As it stands right now, we will be vacating our warehouse at the end of this month, but GQ Tobaccos (well what’s left, ie ME) will still be here selling pipes and accessories from home. I may continue to do so on a part time basis, but at the moment I am not really thinking of the future.
I would like to thank the people who worked with me over the years, I started in the trade about 15 years ago as a trainee tobacconist manager and fell in love with the industry straight away. This led me to set up GQ 3 years ago and the ride has been fantastic. From the Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers (well those that didn’t despise my out spoken nature and desire to be best), Sales Reps, my colleagues and of course to many of you, my lovely Customers. I know many of you will be upset and angry that the tobaccos which only I carried won’t be accessible any more, but please spare a thought to the other 3 people (Andrew Butler, Osiris Santana & Kaveh Birch) I have had to lay off and who are now left looking for work in the current climate.
Thank you all for the wonderful ride, I am proud to have been a part of the industry and I hope in some way I can continue to be a part of it. No matter what happens, I will still be around to advise and help anyone who needs it. I never became active in the community to help increase my (and previous employers) sales (even though some forum moderators and fellow retailer believe this to be the case). We are entering very dark days for tobacco in general around the world and solidarity with our fellow BOTL/ SOTL must remain strong.