June is Pride month and it’s just around the corner. It’s also the perfect opportunity to bring in new customers — if you support and merchandise the holiday right. Parade goers and Pride partiers start shopping for celebration gear early and your rainbow-bright, eye-catching displays need to capture attention and inspire shoppers to impulse-buy. The key is clever product pairings, unique offerings, and a queer-friendly atmosphere to help seal the deal.
With a bit of strategic creativity, you can leverage Pride to increase your customer base long term, but you need to start planning and ordering now. Use these tips to help stock the items you need and display them right so you get the most out of Gay Pride season.
With a bit of strategic creativity, you can leverage Pride to increase your customer base long term, but you need to start planning and ordering now.
Yes, it’s essential to stock rainbow wigs, T-shirts, gay pride flags, beads and penis-shaped candies, but it’s how you pair and display products that counts. Cross-promote with other not-so-obvious Pride items — intimate apparel, lingerie and harnesses to name a few — to take merchandising to a more eye-catching level. Your ability to think outside the box will attract shoppers’ attention and interest.
Before placing orders for Pride, give a second look at items for costuming and sex play. A celebrant may not bring brightly colored sex toys to the parade, but something they can strap, buckle or stretch on over their outfits could be the final touch shoppers are looking for. If you’re not confident in your apparel section, then it’s time to evaluate your inventory.
However you choose to display your Pride offerings, be sure to create a designated shopping area with all the accoutrements laid out and ready to buy. No point taking shoppers on a scavenger hunt to find Pride products spread out all over the store. And never underestimate the power of impulse purchasing. Display smaller, lower-priced Pride items – keychains, stickers, buttons, lighters – at high-traffic areas of the store – cash register, countertops, end caps – and get creative with the eye-grab. Bright colors are always a plus.
Play Gear for Pride
There are so many items typically marketed for intimate play that also make popular Pride gear. Take the Rainbow Lambskin Flogger from Strict Leather, for instance: It’s eye-catching with a subtle colorful motif and will make for an interactive tool for partygoers to bring to bars, parades, play parties, and other Pride-themed events around your city. Donning a flogger as part of one’s wardrobe is encouraged at these events — especially play parties.
It couldn’t hurt adding a butt plug to the mix, especially for Pride-goers who enjoy using their bodies to express themselves. Tailz makes a super-fun Rainbow Anal Tail Plug decorated with a long, cascading fox tail featuring all the rainbow’s stripes, something that’ll turn heads and make a statement at more boisterous Pride events. Display items like this front and center mixed in with more typical Pride fare, like rainbow clothing and colorful wigs.
And for those who like making a particular impressionin public, we also recommend enhancement devices like Textured Enhancement Sleeves by Trinity Vibes, which come in a convenient six-pack and give users a spectrum of rainbow colors to choose from. Displaying these along with cock rings or ball stretchers are a great way to equip shoppers with the gear they need to showcase their packages during Pride events.
Body Enhancers and Prosthetics
Packers and other prosthetics will be in high demand for Pride, for use in costuming, adult play, and everyday wear. Packers are a great way to show some package without getting undressed and styles like the Pecker Packer Penis Prop — in four inch or five inch can make a major impression.
Of course, to use a packer you need a harness to hold it in place — a fitting upsell. Some popular styles are the Mod Strap-On Style Harness with Built-In O-Ring or the Boxer Style Packing Harness Briefs, which are great for comfortable long-term wear under clothing. Don’t forget to cross-sell with strap-on accessories, like quiet bullet vibes, to remind shoppers of fun ways to enhance the experience.
Breast enhancers will also be in higher demand during Pride, so make sure to stock prosthetics like SC Novelties’ Breast Enhancers and display them prominently. There’s much focus on male-centric packers and enhancement gear but it’s important to balance your inventory to be inclusive to as many shoppers as possible!
Colorful clothing options are perfect for Pride but there is a wide range of rainbow-free apparel that makes appearances during the season. Leather, latex and other fetish clothing are always Pride-ready and remain useful way after the month ends. For example, chest harnesses like the English Bull Dog Harness make a memorable impact when worn out on the scene, and even full-coverage tops like the Lambskin Leather Police Shirt by Strict Leather can do the trick.
Latex gloves can also enhance a steamy Pride outfit. Men’s Large Elbow-Length Gloves or Shoulder Length Latex Gloves are a great fit, and the Dripping Wet Surf Short Body Suit covers your top AND bottom for Gay Pride fun. Don’t forget to stock essential accessories for these kinds of outfits, like booty shorts, thongs and suspenders!
Pride season is perfect for connecting with your community and attracting new, potentially loyal shoppers into your store. With a strong selection, thoughtful layout, and an LGBTQ-friendly shopping atmosphere, you will be better able to establish rapport and trust with Pride-celebrators – which betters your chances of making repeat sales. Inclusivity and creativity in Pride month merchandising will make a most positive impression, so be sure your inventory (and staff) are ready to give these shoppers a reason to keep coming back to your store!
Morgan Panzino is the wholesale manager for SexToyDistributing.com, an online distributor that offers the most in-demand and hard-to-find brands in the BDSM and fetish categories from brands including Strict, Kink Industries, Master Series and Zeus Electrosex.