trends

Execs of 2016: Retail Businessmen Discuss Top Market Drivers

Execs of 2016: Retail Businessmen Discuss Top Market Drivers
XBIZ Premiere

XBIZ Premiere is pleased to present “Execs of 2016: The Year in Review” — a special showcase of the thoughts and strategies of 2016’s most influential and motivational leaders as they offer their take on the year’s top trends.

Each of the executives we spoke to is among the finalist nominees for the retail industry edition of the 2017 XBIZ Exec Awards.

Working with leading fragrance houses and cosmetic labs who share the same vision contributed to two top-selling product launches this year: our Love in Luxury Moroccan Fusion Collection and our Crazy Girl Sugar Bomb Collection. -Loren Levy, Classic Erotica

The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Businessmen of the Year Award:

XBIZ: What business achievements are you most proud of this year?

Bob Christian
Director of New Business, Adam & Eve

“The year started off with something that was to become my most important achievement for the adult industry: being part of the selection committee for the Free Speech Coalition board of directors that hired Eric Leue as the FSC executive director. Eric has been one of the major forces that organized the opposition to Prop 60 on this year’s California ballot, and the industry won. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Adam & Eve Pictures team that has been an early adopter of virtual reality. We added VR to our VOD and membership sites and have shot and released the absolute first 17-person orgy in VR — ah, now that’s what VR is all about! Right along with that, I am proud of being part of the Adam & Eve retail stores team that has grown this year to 70 stores open in the U.S. and Canada.”

Elliot Schwartz
President, Nasstoys

“I cannot control what other people do, but Nasstoys will continue to do what we have always done: that is, to give great service to all of our customers large or small and also, to bring to the market products that will make money for our customers. We have been in this business 40 years, and we value all the friends we have made in this great industry.”

Loren Levy
President, Classic Erotica

“Working with leading fragrance houses and cosmetic labs who share the same vision contributed to two top-selling product launches this year: our Love in Luxury Moroccan Fusion Collection and our Crazy Girl Sugar Bomb Collection. Our pulse on what’s trending in packaging and color also plays a key role. It’s the fusion of this information that enables us to create products that truly answer the needs and wants of our consumers. In fact, this year, we’ve been working on rebranding some of our top-selling SKUs. I’m very excited about what we have in store for 2017.”

Oscar Heijnen
Owner, Shots

“Shots America is a new contender in the market and will very soon complete a full operational year successfully. For me, this whole operation was an extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just this year, we introduced more than 500 new products, which one by one, have something unique. One of the most influential trends that we have brought to the market must be our new brands like, for instance, JIL. In this line, we don’t use plastics anymore, but produce a vibrator made out of 100 percent silicone without any additives apart from the motor. Also, our new brand Hiky has proven to be influential to the market, as we have combined a vibrator with a unique suction technology. All these products have caused quite a stir and broken all the records in our pre-sales, and they will be released in January 2017.”

Brian Herbstman
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, East Coast News

“My continued success within the industry, specifically with East Coast News and Adventure Industries, is something I can really be proud of. My work ethic, growth and diversification all play an important part in what I have been able to achieve. The relationships that I have fostered over the course of my 20-plus years in the industry have directly contributed to the success of the companies that I work for, with most of those relationships progressing beyond professional and turning into amazing friendships as well. The distribution method in this industry needs to find ways to adapt to this ever-changing landscape, and I believe East Coast News and Adventure Industries have done just that and are poised for some major growth over the next few years.”

Scott Taylor
President, New Sensations

“I am proud to have helped fund the no vote on Prop 60 but more proud of the people who made it a reality. I am proud of the people that run Fantasy Lingerie, National Video Supply and NS Novelties on a day-to-day basis, resulting in their best year to date. I am proud of what New Sensations/Digital Sin has done and continues to do in a difficult market. I have many businesses that would be impossible to run without the amazing staff I have from top to bottom. My proudest achievement is that great people continue to work by my side.”

Steve Callow
President and CEO, Perfect Fit Brand

“I’m very proud of our partnership with Buck Angel and the success of our Buck-Off product. Our Buck Angel line of products are sexual wellness products designed specifically for FTM transgendered people. The world has recognized the importance of this product, and it resulted in press in Forbes, Vice, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Esquire, Advocate and more. On top of that, our design was in Dezeen, an architecture and design magazine. Very proud of that!”

Tom Stewart
CEO, Sportsheets International

“I’m most proud of our ‘Good, Better, Best’ marketing/product approach to our three restraint brands: Sex and Mischief, Sportsheets and Edge. With all the duplicate product available from multiple manufacturers, the retailers and ultimately, consumers have been inundated with more and more of the same products. Our Good, Better, Best concept is a focused retail solution that presents a wide product selection of restraints to a broad range of customers with three well-supported brands, well known and trusted for our attention to quality. The ‘Good, Better, Best’ concept addresses the needs for the beginner/novice, intermediate and advanced customers of restraints. This covers almost any customer that walks into a store or searches online. When the sales staff knows who the customer is for a particular brand, that customer can be better served by getting the Sex and Mischief, Sportsheets or Edge product that best fits their needs. It’s a sound, logical approach to selling that is a win for all involved.”

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