Bachelorette & Games

Alexandra Cage

Major novelty manufacturers have really stepped up their games in the bachelorette and game categories. Most notably within the category, manufacturers are updating their packaging to create a synergistic plan-o-gram of their items that can reproduced on the walls of retailers worldwide.

Pipedream has come out of its classic light brown bachelorette items and into bright pink boxes and full-branded “Bachelorette” boxes that are eyecatching to all who view them. With major additions to the line such as pimp cups, bitch cups, light sticks and bachelorette games, Pipedream is taking over retailers’ walls one store at a time.

Considered a gateway item, showcasing bachelorette items at the front of an adult store will draw customers outside of the adult shopper “norm” who looking for items for their events.

Hott Products has gone through two major packaging changes in the last three years and has also added items to their offerings in these categories. Featuring white packaging with pink accents, the items are easily merchandised into stores of any type.

Introduced in the last five years are smaller manufacturers Ball & Chain and Sassygirl. Recently Ball & Chain has introduced its new bachelorette games line featuring bright pink and green packaging that commands attention. Sassygirl has introduced “break up” items such as the Hex the Ex piñata in which players insert the photo of their ex into the space before they give it a few whacks. Also introduced are a number of low-cost drinking items such as shot glasses on faux pearl necklaces, the Designated Driver Badge, sashes in both English and Spanish and, most notably, a line of bachelorette items in Spanish language, known as Mi Fiesta, which appeals to a wider audience.

Considered a gateway item, showcasing bachelorette items at the front of an adult store will draw customers outside of the adult shopper “norm” who looking for items for their events. Placement of these items in stores is crucial. By placing bachelorette items and games in the fronts of the stores, the stores appear “softer,” safer and more approachable to women who may have a preconceived notion about adult stores in general. It is rare for a woman who enters an adult store looking for bachelorette to only leave the store with those items.

Relating to the influence of pop culture and the opportunity for gateway sales opportunities, Charles T. Craton, president and CEO of Entice and Sexy Suz Stores says, “It (is) extremely popular and probably one of our most popular sections. One of the reasons is marriage and bachelor/bachelorette parties are a mainstream event. It gives even the ‘regular churchgoer’ a reason to come in our store, and it’s quite acceptable to go off with sexually oriented products at these kinds of events. As a result, we have many people who come in our store looking for these items, and leave with a 12-inch vibrator for their wife! “

Eldorado Trading Company CEO Larry Garland was asked about the implications on the bachelorette category amidst the addition to mainstream markets to which he replied “The college scene is causing positive changes to the drinking and bachelorette categories,” he said. “Party supplies are essential for retailers in an effort to keep their stores young and fresh while still maintaining great mark-ups on these items.”

Online retailer Bachelorette.com CEO Thomas Nardone adds, “[Bachelorette/gaming categories are] a fun place where pop culture gets lampooned. Pipedream is the best for this. Their Crackhead Charlie, Tuggie and other products always prey upon pop trends for a laugh.”

Nardone makes his living selling bachelorette items online to a varied market and has had little effect on the sales figures of brick and mortar retailers.

One cannot have a gaming section without including Kheper Games. The company’s vast array of drinking, romance, sexual and 420 games is a perfect addition to a gaming area. The company has repackaged its products twice over the last year. The most recent additions to its line include games that are designed as upsell items to the Shades of Grey phenomenon. These games are Bondage Seductions, Fetish Seductions and Rose Petal Seductions which includes rose petals and a blindfold, among other items. The game is available in four languages. The average wholesale of the games from Kheper games is around $10, which make them easily sold and with a great mark up for all retailers. Released in May, is the Ladies Night game, which has crossover into mainstream markets.

When a first-time customer enters the store and sees a colorful, playful display of bachelorette/bachelor items followed by birthday, drinking and romance games, retailers are almost certain to see the average $10 sale jump to near $100 sales should the customers get their imaginations going and open up their apprehensions to a store’s offerings.

For retailers, it is essential that their staff can answer the questions regarding the bachelorette and games that are offered. To support retailer knowledge, Pipedream Products has introduced the new Pipedream University program for distributors. The program invites the sales reps into the manufacturer’s location to learn the ins and outs of the items they sell so that they can assist the buyers and clerks into becoming more educated for their customers.

With the average margin in adult products decreasing as more luxury items are introduced, retailers are always searching for that great “margin maker.” Bachelorette and games are considered two of the last great margin makers in the business and are essentially “oxygen” for the success of adult stores.