- The Cigarette Store, doing business as Smoker Friendly, has purchased the 30-store Collett Enterprises chain with locations in Indiana and Kentucky, according to a post on LinkedIn.
- Collett Enterprises, which began doing business in 1994, already operated under the Smoker Friendly name and branding, but will now be owned by Smoker Friendly itself.
- The acquisition of Collett Enterprises is Smoker Friendly’s sixth over the past two years, according to the announcement, and increases the company’s total store count by 11% to 290.
In August, Boulder, Colorado-based Smoker Friendly also purchased Tobacco Superstores, a 79-store chain in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky. Together, these two acquisitions have boosted Smoker Friendly’s store count by over 60% in 2022.
The Collett Enterprises acquisition extends Smoker Friendly’s footprint into a total of 13 states, up from 12 in the wake of the Tobacco Superstores acquisition. Because Collett was already a licensee, there will be no branding change needed for the acquired locations.
Smoker Friendly continues to grow its footprint, even as the number of smokers continues to decline according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While 2020 was a bright spot for c-store cigarette sales, only 12.5% of U.S. adults said they smoked cigarettes that year — a steep decline from 20.9% of U.S. adults in 2005.
Darren Collett, president and owner of Seymour, Indiana-based Collett Enterprises, said “it has been a challenging 28 years in the retail tobacco industry,” but noted that he felt the stores and their employees would be in “good hands” with this sale.
The purchase price was not revealed for either the Collett Enterprises or Tobacco Superstores acquisitions.
In addition to its company-owned locations, Smoker Friendly also has a number of independently owned and operated licensed locations, bringing the overall store total to more than 800. It also operates cigar lounges, liquor stores and shops under a variety of brands, including Smoker Friendly, Tobacco Depot, Smoke ‘N Go, Havana Manor and Gasamat. It also handles e-commerce through its website.
Smoker Friendly stores carry a variety of Smoker-Friendly-branded tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless options.