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I've been asked

 
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ted
"Old Timer"


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 4549


Location: NC

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: I've been asked  Reply with quote

to write an epistle about why most newer Grabows were not stamped or
TM'd

I retired in 1991 and had no relationship with the factory for 17 years. This is what I've learned from employees and others associated with Grabow.

In 1990 we were "given" a National Sales Manager, and a group of salesmen.

Dr.Grabow was a BRAND, and sold Eldorado, Commodore, Viscount, Starfire, Regal, Savoy, Riviera, Lark, and all the Duke lines, along with the Freehand and Omega.. Never once were these lines sold to tobacco shops.. Our customers were tobacco "jobbers"(McClain southwest. etc) and "chain stores (Walgreens, CVS, etc.)

In 1992, at the insistance of our NSM Grabow made a series of pipes to go into pipe shops... and gave the shops the ability to stamp them with their own LOGO. Thus came the "Reserve" series. It was a FLOP!.

Grabow also tried the "Redwood", Big Pipe, and a few others that I can't remember..in order to get an "in" with pipe shops. Nothing succeded.

In 1992 Lane bought the factory from UST and tried, and succeded in an old economics tenent.... "Harvest and Divest".. Lane used up all the older stummels, all the aluminum, and all the stems into anything they could sell... thus the odd shapes. without a stamp or TM.

Now the Grabow lines never changed.. Eldo, Comm, Visc, Star, Regal, .. Even though these were eliminated by Lane. The only lines left after 1992 were Savoy, Lark, Duke, Grand........... even less today.

Grabow made pipes were as listed... Reserve, Redwood, BIG, Alpha, and many others were NOT Grabow because they were made for another outlet. Ask a manager.. We've done it.. "These are not Grabow pipes". Made in Sparta, NC. But not a Grabow...

Maybe I'm too set into the past, but it makes no sense to me..

I know there will be questions, and they will be gladly answered..td
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JoeMan
Golden Duke


Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6896


Location: Greenville, SC

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe the 'Reserve' pipes had Reserve nor any other line stamped on them, but did they bear the Dr. Grabow name?  

I believe there are still a handful of Reserve pipes at the factory on the board today.
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ozark southpaw
Golden Duke


Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 9443


Location: Poplar Bluff,Mo.

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JoeMan wrote:
I don't believe the 'Reserve' pipes had Reserve nor any other line stamped on them, but did they bear the Dr. Grabow name?  

I believe there are still a handful of Reserve pipes at the factory on the board today.

Mine didn't when I bought them.
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Ed.
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bosun1
Grand Duke


Joined: 28 Oct 2012
Posts: 137


Location: on Hillary's server

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps these managers just wanted to broaden their customer base?  Did they have an increase in wholesale price between their Grabow stamped prices and the generic/unstamped prices?  And the pipe shops didn't bite?  Sometimes it is hard to understand corporate logic!
Or maybe they want to follow the Chinese method of brand recognition?  The brand is simply "Made in China", meaning we are making a cheap brand of crap to sell to a buyer who's major influence on a purchase is price not quality so why bother put a manufacturer's name on it?  This para is half said in jest!
Hopefully I understand Old Ted's comments - not meaning to insult any one.  I've got more than my share of Dr. G's!!
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gahdzila
Crown Duke


Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 262


Location: West Monroe, LA

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Re: I've been asked Reply with quote

First off, a big thanks!

My original question was about Big Pipes, as I love them, and it seemed strange to me that the only marking anywhere on the pipe is "BIG PIPE.".  But I've noticed my two Royaltons aren't stamped "Dr Grabow" and have no spade on their stems either.  Does the Royalton fit in this same category?  Or is there another story behind the Royalton?

ted wrote:

Maybe I'm too set into the past, but it makes no sense to me..


Yeah, me either.  Let me see if I've got it straight.

Ok.  So they manufactured these pipes, and marketed them to pipe shops as unmarked and unbranded for pipe shops to put their own logo on.  And it was a flop.  Shops didn't buy them.  Mission fail.  When Lane acquired Grabow, they acquired the old stock of these unbranded pipes and decided to sell them themselves.  Have I got it right so far?

That all seems perfectly logical so far.  BUT - 20 years have passed now.  Certainly they're not still selling old stock now?  Big Pipes and Royaltons are the upper end of the current offerings...why not own them by putting your logo on them?

It seems very strange to me for a manufacturer to put its logo on the lower end products, but not on two of its most expensive higher end products.

Again, HUGE thanks for the explanation!!!
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ted
"Old Timer"


Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 4549


Location: NC

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You got it right.

Grabow still has a supply of Big Pipes in inventory. The only place I've seen them is at JR Cigar although there are probably some E-tailers that have them.

Through my time at Grabow the Royalton was stamped Royalton and the stamp had a small "HLT" logo. That stamping stopped after I retired. We were never able to inlay a spade tm into lucite with any success. The stem cracked.
td
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JoeMan
Golden Duke


Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 6896


Location: Greenville, SC

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah...so from what you're saying, the royalton 37 and 47 I  bought in Sparta when I was there with you last year were NOT recently made, as both have the HLT logo.
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Wildcat
Golden Duke


Joined: 23 Feb 2012
Posts: 1939


Location: Hudson Falls, NY 12839

PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ted!

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