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Zippo debut gives new meaning to “specialty retail”


The Zippo brand is familiar to anyone who has ever smoked and apparently there is enough equity in the name to support two stores inside Las Vegas casinos.

The zippo brand is synonymous with those old fashioned lighters that required users to refill with liquid fuel and occasionally replace the flint. Not anymore, at least according to Zippo executives, who contend Zippo has made the transition to that of a lifestyle brand while its traditional lighters enjoy enduring popularity.

As a result, the first two Zippo stores are slated to open in the coming months in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel & Casino and the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The stores will sell as full range of lighters and related products in addition to apparel, bags, fragrances and leather goods.

“Casinos represent an untouched, yet promising retail medium for Zippo, especially considering that Zippo windproof lighters in the luck and gambling category are perennial best sellers,” said Mark Paup, Zippo’s vp of sales and marketing. “Today, Zippo is more than lighters and has become a sought-after lifestyle brand. We are excited to work with these MGM properties and SNI (Sourcing Network International) to introduce a new array of products to a whole new audience.”

The new stores are a joint project of Zippo, SNI, Luxor and MGM Grand that will be overseen by Zippo's global duty free and travel retail representative CITRA Inc. SNI services products to more than 150 American casinos and under its agreement with Zippo SNI is tasked with opening a Zippo concept store or securing product displays in as many of the 150 partner locations as possible. Zippo’s presence in each chosen casino will range from the size of one display case to an entire store section.

“Zippo is a name that conjures images of Americana, and its products are set apart by their authenticity and utility,” said SNI CEO Todd Cohen. “This brand is definitely a great fit for the casino demographic. Our plan is to introduce Zippo products to as many casinos as possible.”

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