Re: State of the Hookah Union Address
I totally agree with what you're saying.
I know of ONE shop that still has KM hookahs in stock, and they are 30% above where they should be priced. MZ's have vanished, and most of the other hookahs on the market are cheap knockoffs, even if they have nice looking designs.
There is a TON of awful shisha out there right now. The best brand most smoke shops sell is regular Layalina, with tons of crap brands priced cheaper.
I went to a shop the other day hoping to find foil and their best coals were Rolland naturals. Are you kidding me??
The problem is that Hookah has blown up so fast here in the US, I don't think there are enough importers, nor enough stock being produced by the established companies to meet the demand. Plus, the average hookah smoker thinks a bowl of Layalina with Rolland instant lights on a 18" chinese hookah is the best smoke they can get. They don't have access to authentic, quality products- so they don't know better. I've seen this even in your own store John, with people coming in and buying crappy products just becase they know their friends use them- instead of buying the quality items you sell for nearly the same price.
Bottom line: the US is not a good place to be a hookah fanatic. I imagine it's like enjoying American indie music in Europe. The good stuff trickles in, but it's not demanded enough to really be provided in quantity.