It seems like it was quite a while ago that price hikes were announced... but then corona hit before the price hikes worked their way down to us, and for whatever reason all the vendors (at least, all the ones I use) had a ton of great sales going on from about March to June (I would guess it was to keep product moving at a time when everyone was spending their money on toilet paper, but that’s just speculation). Anyway, I think the higher prices we’re seeing now look worse than they are because of all the corona sales earlier in the year.
And yes, I spent my corona stimulus money on cigars.
Cyclical sales in any business....cigars are no different or immune. The last decade I bet I bought 1700 cigars and got some great deals. Lately in the last 8 months I've just smoked my inventory which includes well rested smokes which I prefer.