800-JR Cigar would like to give that man (or woman) a cigar. Doing business as JR Cigars, the company that began as a small Manhattan cigar shop is now a leading distributor and retailer of premium cigars. It also sells pipe tobacco, lighters, humidors, and other smoking accessories, as well as coffee. JR Cigars' retail operations include three discount outlet stores in North Carolina, a catalog, and an e-commerce site. The company's website also features regular auctions and a section called JR Cigar University, where tobacco aficionados can read up on all things stogie related. 800-JR Cigar is a subsidiary of Altadis, itself owned by Imperial Tobacco Group.
The premium tobacconist sells about 150 brands of cigars, including more than 50 of its JR Alternatives (such as Casa Blanca and Fonseca). The value-priced JR brands are sold in bundles, not boxes, which helps to keep costs down. JR Cigars also buys up excess tobacco inventories, allowing it to provide customers with breadth of product at a price lower than name-brand manufacturers. The company estimates that its JR Alternatives make up the third-best-selling line of handmade cigars in the US.