SS December 2015

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20 SMOKESHOP December 2015 Industry NEWS S.T. Dupont Enters U.S. Distribution Agreement with Davidoff of Geneva pinellas park, fla.—French luxury accessory maker S.T. Dupont has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement in the U.S. with Davidoff of Geneva USA, a unit of Swiss-based Oettinger Davidoff AG. The strategic agreement, effective January 1, 2016, further consolidates the already close relation- ship between the two companies: S.T. Dupont manufactures a number of Davidoff lighters in France while Davidoff of Geneva operates as the S.T. Dupont distributor in the Swiss market, its home country, as well as carrying the S.T. Dupont brand in its flagship stores in many markets, including the U.S. According to S.T. Dupont president Alain Crevet, the main objectives of the partnership are to strongly accelerate S.T. Dupont's expansion in the U.S. by further strengthening its position in the lighter and cigar accessory categories, where the brand is already recognized as the leader in the high-end segment, while "dramatically" growing its share of business in other categories, including writing instruments, leather goods, belts and men's accessories in all related channels of distribution. For Davidoff of Geneva USA, the prestigious Paris-based S.T. Dupont brand represents a natural fit to its existing portfolio of premium cigars, cigar accessories, and Davidoff of Geneva since 1911 retail stores. According to Jim Young, president of Davidoff of Geneva USA, the addition of S.T. Dupont to its distribution portfolio will serve to reinforce its goal to be the "indispensable business partner" to its retail partners, including its network of appointed merchants. "This is a great fit," said Young, "both for the brand line- up as well as…culturally between our two companies." Lotus International of Warwick, R.I., which has served as S.T. Dupont's "dedicated and loyal" U.S. distributor since 2007, will remain the company's after-sales-service center for the U.S. "All three companies are jointly committed to deliver high quality products and services to the U.S. market," stated S.T. Dupont in a written announcement. FTC to Study E-Cigarette Marketing Practices; Future Regulations Likely The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in October its intent to study the marketing practices of e-cigarette manufacturers and opened a public comment period on the proposed information requests to marketers of electronic cigarettes it will be seeking. The comments, which were due by December 25, 2015, will be considered before the com- mission submits a request for Office of Management and Budget review of compulsory process orders to those mar- keters. The information sought would include, among other things, data on annual sales and marketing expenditures. The Commission intends to ask OMB for a three-year clearance to collect the information. BerettaTube•1-2V•Aug15.indd 1 9/18/15 12:00 PM

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