Mission: Football City Cigars is a place that inspires authentic experiences of comfort and cares for people and businesses in the community. As museums play a critical role in preserving the local culture. FCC, through careful documentation and artifact preservation, will, as our name suggests, epitomize the Football City USA atmosphere for which Rock Hill is known.
|Location: 232 S. Cherry Road|
Rock Hill, SC 29730
Football City Cigars (FCC) is a retail tobacco store and an exquisite lounge. The focus is to become the best retail tobacco store in York County. FCC will offer premium cigars and create a cigar lounge experience that is inviting and indicative of the city of Rock Hill. Despite the decrease in the numbers of people who smoke cigarettes, and legislation prohibiting smoking in public places, cigar sales are still strong. This may be because cigars are viewed as an affordable luxury product, or it may be because of the vital cultural and social attractions of smoking cigars over cigarettes.
Football City Cigars (FCC) is a retail tobacco store and an exquisite lounge. The focus is to become the best retail tobacco store in York County. FCC will offer premium cigars and create a cigar lounge experience that is inviting and indicative of the city of Rock Hill.
Rock Hill, the city that FCC will be located in, is a booming city in South Carolina, with proximity to Charlotte, NC. Known for its high school football championships and production of numerous professional football athletes, Rock Hill has earned a reputation as Football City USA. This area is primed and ready for the FCC experience. FCC will highlight and feature the history and celebrate the legacy of the men and women that have poured into the youth of Rock Hill. FCC will feature a gorgeous 1,300+ square-foot state-of-the-art ventilated indoor area plus a small, intimate outdoor patio. FCC is a warm and inviting place, where one can enjoy some of the world’s premium cigars, get some work done, meet friends, or make life-changing business deals.
The Cigar Lounges industry has made a strong comeback in the United States over the past five years into 2020 and is predicted to grow even stronger over the next five years. According to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, cigar consumption in the United States has been increasing drastically recently, and the demand for premium cigars continues to outpace demand for other tobacco products. Cigars use to increase as cigarette use declines and continues to experience fewer product-specific regulations, a lower tax rate and represent a different level of social acceptability than other tobacco products. The increased popularity of cigars has facilitated sustained growth in cigar lounges, where small localized companies have dominated this industry. In line with favorable shifts in consumer tastes and macroeconomic factors, cigar lounges have performed well over the past five years.
Overall, IBISWorld (Industry Report – December 2018) expects industry revenue to increase at an annualized rate of 7.2% to $971.3 million over the five years to 2018, including an anticipated 4.9% rise in 2018.
Although indoor consumption of tobacco products is banned in many states, cigar lounges can gain exemption from these laws by obtaining a license. The outlook for the future of FCC is more than promising. The Cigar Lounge will be in Rock Hill, the largest city in York County, and the fifth-largest city in the state of South Carolina. It is also the fourth-largest city in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area behind Charlotte, Gastonia, and Concord. Rock Hill is also near one of the world’s busiest airport; having excellent access to major interstate and state highways; living in a community with a low crime rate; residential neighborhoods with historic homes and new development, and have access to the resources that can help in FCC’s growth and expansion.
According to the Rock Hill, SC Opportunity Zone Investment Prospectus data, Rock Hill has a population of over 75,000 with an average household income of over $66,000. Its median age is 34 years old, and the average home value is around $202,000.
One of the most critical legislation passed recently has been the various restrictions on advertising for tobacco products. Because of this, FCC is limited in the types of marketing it can do. We plan to advertise in specialty publications. Also, we are targeting several local magazines that cater to upper-income people. We are also in the process of creating partnerships with other Internet firms to create Internet links to our existing informational website. When we launch our online ordering features, we will intensify these efforts. Finally, we will be seeking to introduce our new combination cafe and tobacco shop to the community through newspaper articles and banner advertisements.
There is a severe risk from marginal competitors who sell tobacco products as a small percentage of their total sales. These include grocery and convenience stores. At present, these competitors only offer a limited number of national brands and do not appeal to our target market segments. However, they do seriously impinge on our business due to the large volume of customers who shop in these establishments. We feel that despite any attempts to alter shopping habits, the smoke shops across the country do not possess the power to change the overall market share that these indirect competitors have. FCC can transform business—unlocking the potential of people and organizations. Intentional design, warm hospitality, and premium cigars provide people and places an opportunity to do their best work and unwind.
The business will operate and be managed by Desmond Cato & Robert Smalls. They are highly experienced in making of hand-made premium cigars. They have strategic alliances with other successful Cigar and Lounge businesses in South Carolina as well as strong roots in Rock Hill. Desmond is a principal investor and owner of Liberty Cigar and Coffee in Gaffney, SC, www.libertyofgaffney.com, while Robert is a long time property owner in the city of Rock Hill. Both Desmond and Robert have served in the various roles as educators in Rock Hill to include teacher, coach, administrator, and mentor.
FCC will be located in the former American Legion area of the Opportunity Zone region. This is a high visibility area, located minutes from the city’s university and blocks from interstate access. Additionally, it is located at a signalized intersection. FCC will feature a cozy space for drinks and enjoying a premium cigar in an elegant lounge with comfortable furnishings and decor with soothing, warm tones. The lounge has comfortable couches, and plush sofa styled seats with a softly lit bar. It will be the perfect place to stop in for a power business meeting or to watch your favorite teams play while enjoying a cigar and a beverage.
The business will run under the management of Desmond Cato & Robert Smalls because of the following:
The company will operate under the following address
232 South Cherry Road Rock Hill, SC 29730
Business rules and regulations
Football City Cigars uses these rules:
We anticipate our total sales allocation to be 90% cigars/drinks sales and 10% special event sales. The combined cost of sales will be 26%, producing a gross profit of 74% on total sales. Most important to us is our financial success. We believe this will be achieved by offering high-quality service, premium cigars that are hard to get anywhere else, and a website that allows for sales of cigars outside.
The research carried on the area justifies the suitability of the Rock Hill for the intended construction business using cigar business. As every patron is critical in a shrinking market, FCC seeks to create long-term salesperson-to-customer relationships. This, we see as the necessary step in repeat sales that will sustain our business. Promotions, specialty items, and other such standard sales strategies will be used when possible.
The crucial factors for success in the industry are:
Location: Clients can differentiate Football City Cigars with ease from others as one at the heart of Football City USA, across the street from District 3 Stadium. The retail tobacco store is located in the Opportunity Zone designated by the Governor to spur development and investment specifically in this area. The Carolina Panthers will locate their 200-acre headquarters in Rock Hill that will include an orthopedic sports medicine facility, hotel, and residential projects
Concept: As museums play a critical role in preserving the local culture. FCC, through careful documentation and artifact preservation, will, as our name suggests, epitomize the Football City USA atmosphere for which Rock Hill is known. We will highlight the history and current accomplishments through video, images, and guest appearances by former and current Collegiate and NFL players and coaches.
World Class Service: Providing service that vastly exceeds customer expectations and building brand loyalty as a result.
This is no shared lounge. FCC is the ONLY Cigar Lounge that will feature a theme honoring the hardworking players, parents, coaches, and fans that have been essential to Rock Hill being dubbed ‘Football City USA’ because of its commitment to youth sports and mentoring.
Deep Ties to the Community: The owners are both graduates of Winthrop University and have held positions in the Rock Hill School system as coaches, mentors, teachers, and administrators.
Since the specialty and recreational smokers will be the most frequent patrons of Football City and the highest average profit margin, we will be focusing on marketing and servicing these patrons the most. Usually, these are clients who possess a passion for the cigar culture, as well, which improves volume. Other segments will be drawn into FCC through trickle-down advertising and interest. We are seeking to create a more extensive, dedicated client base through membership and loyalty programs along with options for online purchases.
As every patron is critical in a shrinking market, FCC seeks to create long-term salesperson to customer relationships. This, we see as the necessary step in repeat sales that will sustain our business. Promotions, specialty items, and other such standard sales strategies will be used when possible.
To guarantee fair competition, Football City Cigars will use strategies like:
This is achievable through the creation of online resources that portray the kind of services that we offer and publishing them across online platforms where there are clients who might need our cigars and services
Social media marketing
This will involve advertising of services through different social media platforms to reach more clients. For example, through Facebook Pages, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp showing our services.
Football City Cigars will contribute to sponsoring related social events to market our brand and thus increase customer reach for more customers.
It will also provide;
KEEPING UP WITH MARKET TRENDS
We will do ongoing research that focuses on the cigar industry and conduct broad studies of luxury products and the market for high-end goods and services. Often you can see a trend coming before it becomes one by analyzing the data and studying the researchers’ conclusions and predictions. At FCC, we want to set trends, not follow them. This strategy does not make us a trendy company, but rather a company that can see the right direction.
Five guiding principles support our vision:
The retail tobacco store and lounge will start as an LLP, owned by its founders, Desmond Cato and Robert Smalls, who will also function as the General Managers.
Pricing and Profitability
We anticipate our total sales allocation to be 90% cigar and tobacco sales and 10% beverage sales.
Prices will be competitive with other experiences in the area; however, it is the strategy
of FCC to give a perception of higher value than its competitors, through its service, the atmosphere, cigars, drinks, and the location’s unique reputation as ‘Football City Cigars in the Football City of the USA.’
General Advisory Board
Primary Role: To providing direction for the business.
Primary Role: To provide management with financial analysis, development budgets, and accounting reports. It is responsible for financial forecasting and risk analysis.
Primary role: Responsible for overseeing sales, a champion for the consumer’s needs, and liaise with clients
Football City Cigars wants everyone to play a pivotal role in service delivery. We intend to remain as customer-centric as possible to hasten the decision-making process and to react promptly to urgent and emergency calls.
Market Analysis Summary
Football City Cigars will focus on local first-time cigar seekers to world-class cigar aficionados. We are seeking fans of Football City USA and those that are curious about the history. Visitors who are looking for a relaxing home away from home to meet up with friends or business associates.
Our primary focus in marketing will be to increase customer awareness in the surrounding communities. We will direct all of our marketing strategies toward the goal of explaining who we are and what we do, and how much we share the values of the citizens of Rock Hill. We will keep our standards high and execute the concept so that word-of-mouth will be our main marketing driver. We will also leverage our contacts within the community to help the brand image as the cigar lounge that taps into the Football City USA experience. We will create an appealing and entertaining environment with unbeatable quality at an exclusive price. An exciting and friendly retail tobacco store and cigar Lounge, we will be the talk of York County, Rock Hill, as well as surrounding areas.
Football City Cigars intends to cater to a broad group of people (men and women) that are 21+. We want everyone to feel welcome and relaxed in a relaxing atmosphere with a wide and varied selection of world-class premium cigars. Our strategy is simple; we intend to succeed by giving people a combination of world-class premium cigars, drink selections, and an environment that appeals to a wide and varied group of people. We will focus on maintaining quality and establishing a strong identity in our community that stays true to the things that have made Rock Hill so successful and contributed to their economic boom over the past several years.
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