trends

Finding Profit in Non-Adult Products

Ariana Rodriguez
Some adult retail stores carry non-adult products to fulfill a customer base's need, while others do it to satisfy local zoning restrictions — regardless of the reason, many adult retailers are stocking items such as tobacco pipes and intimate apparel to increase sales.

Amazing Superstore sells tobacco pipes and supplemental items to cater to customers that smoke.

"Anytime you can offer products to a different consumer base and target shoppers of all kinds there is potential to increase your sales," said Adam Bassignani, who handles the merchandising of an adult retail chain.

A well-known brand has the benefit of using its name to brand non-adult merchandise. Hustler Hollywood locations offer novelty non-adult products such as mugs, towels, stationary, neon signs and sports gear. Hustler even carries branded baby clothes.

"I can only speak to the success of our own Hustler brand and that once we added both our apparel and lingerie categories to the mix, yes of course we saw incremental increases and crossover selling," said Claudia Beaton, Hustler Hollywood director of retail operations. "We have a unique opportunity since our Hustler brand is so well known to be able to work off that and continue to build the brand."

Hustler offers non-adult DVDs — however, only ones related to Hustler and company founder Larry Flynt, such as the autobiographical "The People vs. Larry Flynt."

Other adult retailers have been unlucky in the sales of non-adult product.

Excitement Video owner David Betesh said the only non-adult products sold at Excitement Video locations are there because local zoning laws demand it. Some locations carry greeting cards and gag gifts to satisfy such requirements. He once tried to offer popular mainstream new release DVDs but was unsuccessful, he said.

"There is no return on investment with non-adult products [for us]," Betesh said. "Customers are not coming in here for that."

Leyton Croxdale, Peekay's director of inventory, said the company follows the product offering philosophy centered on "what can enhance our customers sexuality" and that includes any product adult or non-adult.

"We have done everything from silk sheets to art," he said. "The company's mission statement states: 'To provide an exciting environment to explore human sexuality and to acknowledge the freedom to do so.' We believe our stores represent our mission."

Peekay also offers sensual non-adult products such as bath products and personal care products.

Beaton said Hustler Hollywood also has had success with the marketing of such products.

"We have given additional space and have grown in the personal care side, offering everything from assorted scented lotions to massage oils — all add to the ultimate sensual experience."

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