U.K. Retailer Clone Zone Avoids Financial Meltdown

JC Adams
LONDON — Clone Zone Ltd., a prominent U.K. gay adult retail and distribution chain, has averted a financial meltdown.

The company has been purchased by novelty manufacturer Libertybelle U.K. Ltd. and will continue operations from four of its 10 brick-and-mortar outlets in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

The sale includes "the Clone Zone brand, stock and Internet retail business," according to a published report. The remaining retail locations will be sold.

"The business, as it was structured, found it hard to maintain market share when faced with growing competition on the Internet," said Asher Miller of David Rubin & Partners, a London-based insolvency firm appointed to the case. "With this restructuring and renewed investment, coupled with a new focus on Internet retail, the Clone Zone business will have the best chance of survival."

"We are delighted that we have been able to secure the future of Clone Zone with a partner from within the industry that brings a tremendous amount of expertise in sales, marketing, [novelty] design and manufacturing," said Mike McCann, the company's newly appointed managing director.

A newspaper account said the company is expected to undergo a "redevelopment program" over the next several months.

Clone Zone has been a highly visible member of the European gay adult entertainment community for more than 25 years. They stock a wide variety of novelties, lubricants, books, magazines, and other related products, as well as branded novelty lines from Colt Studio Group and TitanMen.

DVD labels carried by the Clone Zone chain include Cazzo Films, Colt Studio, Factory Video, Hot House Entertainment, Raging Stallion Studios and Treasure Island Media, among others.