Located in Gladstone Missouri, Discount Smokes has been on the track to success since they opened in 2011. After moving to Missouri from Texas, Discount Smokes owner and operator Andy Kohja decided to leave the grocery distribution business and open up his own smoke shop. Prior to Discount Smokes, Andy had not been involved in the tobacco industry and his shop was his first experience with the tobacco world.
In the beginning, Discount Smokes primarily sold traditional cigarettes and tobacco products, but in 2012 Andy began to see how big the e-cig industry was becoming and he decided to join the masses.
“As the industry grew, and the technology developed, there were endless new styles and designs of e-cigarettes,” mentions Andy. “From the traditional old style e-cigs, the industry grew rapidly, so we knew we had to get involved,” he continues.
By taking advantage of the changes in the industry and staying open to trying something new, Andy steered his business down the right path.
“Today we actually sell more e-cigs than we do regular cigarettes,” mentions Andy.
“In the future we are actually thinking about opening a vapor location because of all the success we’ve had with e-cigs so far,” he continues.
When it comes to deciding what to carry in the shop, Andy starts by listening to customer suggestions about new products they’ve heard of or seen and then conducts his own research on the products as well.
“We take customer suggestions, and after our own research we end up finding a product that is quality and at the right price point,” explains Andy. “We try it our products ourselves before we offer it to the customers. The quality of what we sell is very important to us,” he says.
By paying attention to customer suggestions and striving to carry products that are quality and at the right price point, Andy and the staff of Discount Smokes maintain a steady customer base. Customers can come in and know that they are not only going to find above average quality, but also a staff that truly cares about their experience in the shop.
“Our store atmosphere is very welcoming. We have a lot of customers that come in the store that have been coming here forever. Majority of our customers are repeat customers. Once they come in, we usually see them again. Since we opened our doors in 2011, we’ve built an extremely strong customer base. When they come in the door I remember their name and their everyone in their family as well,” says Andy.
Taking time to get to know your customers will not only help them find what product is truly best for them, but also keep them coming back. At Discount Smokes, they pay close attention to their customers and put in a lot of effort in to making sure each everyone feels comfortable and welcome. In the shop, the staff lets customers sample e-liquid flavors and products to make sure that what they are purchasing is the best fit.
“We place a heavy importance on the attitude of our employees. We want the store to feel comfortable and we want our staff to be knowledgeable and friendly,” explains Andy.
Andy and the staff of Discount Smokes have been thriving since they opened their doors in 2011. By placing heavy importance on carrying high quality products at the right price, customer service, and creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, the Missouri shop has truly found the recipe for success. SVBS