Retailer's Paradise

Ariana Rodriguez
With a family history rooted in the condom business since 1943, Paradise Marketing CEO Dennis Paradise was brought up knowing about the distribution and packaging of intimate care products.

“At the age of 25 I left Chicago [where I grew up], headed west and ended up in San Diego,” Paradise says of the early beginnings of Paradise Marketing, which was established in 1978 and has since achieved adult and mainstream success as the top distributor of sexual health products.

With extensive product and manufacturing knowledge under his belt, Paradise said his company hit the ground running and his venture was second nature to him.

“We started out by distributing to convenience stores and drugstores and in the late 80s we began supplying adult boutiques,” Paradise said.

Paradise Marketing prides itself as being a onestop shop for adult retailers, and addresses the vast distinction between the needs of its clients by offering products with flexible minimum orders and allowing retailers to combine multiple brands.

“Retailers can place weekly orders for special promos or as needed,” Paradise said. “Some distributors set minimum orders for adult retailers that consist of more inventory than they’ll need in a year.”

Whereas buying directly from manufacturers sometimes means being persuaded to buy certain products, Paradise Marketing representatives — all of which Paradise says are trained and qualified to provide customer care — don’t push certain brands over others and instead focus on what the retailer needs.

“We help retailers make smarter buying decisions,” Paradise said. “We give them advice based on analysis of a store’s inventory and the market that they serve and we won’t let them buy something that won’t sell; instead we find ways to balance out their inventory.”

Paradise said that the biggest challenge the personal care products industry faces is misinformation and the Internet’s ability to immediately propagate false rumors. He was referring to a study conducted earlier this year by researchers at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine, which condemned certain lubes as increasing the risk of contracting HIV. The study claimed that Astroglide and KY — both of which are offered by Paradise — were among the lubes that had toxic effects on cells and rectal tissue and thus increased the risk of contracting STDs during anal sex. Paradise pointed out that people don’t realize that controversial studies such as the one above are incomplete and are used as ploys by researchers to cause hysteria and justify the need for more research funding.

“It takes a long time to undo an untruth,” Paradise said. “People need to question the source and take into account the track record [of a product.]”

Paradise said that although sales on Astroglide and KY were not impacted, he’s taken it upon himself to educate retailers through product seminars. Additionally, Paradise wants people to know that his company wouldn’t carry something that’s harmful, unpopular or from an unstable, weak brand.

“You’d be surprised at what I’ve turned down,” Paradise said. “Good business people, good products — that’s who I’m going to do business with. I look at the strength and stability of a brand, the efficacy of a product and its demand. If you find a good condom that we don’t carry … you should probably ask why.”

With a product line that encompasses personal hygiene and sexual health products for men and women, Paradise carries the timeless brands, including Trojan, Summer’s Eve and Lifestyles, among a slew of others, in addition to new, hip brands such as the recently unveiled Christian Audigier brand of condoms that is already among Paradise’s bestsellers.

Paradise also named Fleet Naturals cleansing enemas, Summer’s Eve feminine wipes and Trojan’s Ecstasy condoms as the company’s bestsellers.

Paradise Marketing’s retail expertise, merchandising tools and expansive slate of brand-name products have all contributed to Mr. Paradise’s saying: “we make our customers more money.” And don’t expect Paradise Marketing to stray from the personal care industry — with a clear focus, Paradise is here to stay.