October 1, 1917:

Book this one as a prime example of shrug marketing, where the Mainland Cigar Store, then at 310 Carrall street in Gastown, came up with the amazing sales pitch of just straight giving up on quality, and instead offering their product as a cheap crappy option for those who can afford little more.

JUST RECEIVED: A shipment of Flat Stem Pipes, which we are selling for 25 cents.

Of course, they are not as good as the higher priced pipes, but if you feel that a 25 cent pipe is your price, they are the BEST value in this town.

Anyway, come along and look ’em over, it won’t hurt either you or us to examine them, at


I mean, how can you refuse a sales pitch made so eloquently?

Mainland Cigar was no flash in the pan – they were in business until at least the 1930’s, when an owner of the store was caught in a libel case, after telling a supplier he wouldn’t do business with him unless he fired an ex-Mainland employee who he claimed ‘got away’ with $3500. The case was won by the plaintiff, but reversed on appeal.

Where are they now?

The old 310 Carrall street store has had a chequered past, having lost its business license when it was home to Mikes Cafe and Deli, when crack cocaine was being sold over the counter.

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