Freddy and Eddy to Close Retail Location, Focus on Online Presence
Ian Denchasy told XBIZ that he saw signs that the “offline” version of their almost decade-old couples e-boutique, FreddyandEddy.com, might need to close about a year ago when sales were down across the board.
“The idea [for the store] was to create something new and different from all things we had seen in adult,” Ian said. “We wanted to create an environment that didn’t have any seedy elements to it. We never envisioned it to turn a profit, it just needed to cover itself and maybe little extra — and it’s no longer doing that.”
Ian said that as long as online sales continued to be strong, the store would remain a priority, but when more of the couple’s time was put into the brick-and-mortar location and online sales began to dip, the two no longer could put off the inevitable.
“Now we’re seeing what an economic downturn can do,” Ian said. “All retail is affected because people cut back in every which way they can, and that’s why they go to the 99 Cent Only store instead of Albertsons.”
Ian said since the Christmas boom, he has successfully raised online sales back to their former levels, which to his delight are still growing, and is working with a designer to completely revamp the site to make it “the powerhouse of the web for couples-based shoppers.”
“It’s got to evolve,” Ian said. “We have a great web business, it’s fantastic, so lets keep doing what’s successful and if and when the economy turns around, if we want to explore a small brick and mortar again, we’ll talk about it.”
In a series of phases, to be completed by the July 11 Love LA show, Ian said a variety of new components will be added to FreddyandEddy.com, including a weekly podcast that will feature listener Q&A and special guests, a music section where customers can recommend music for specific occasions, and a video section where users can purchase and view a selection of licensed content chosen by Freddy and Eddy themselves.
Ian also said that more time and focus will be put toward building the SHEE organization, developing the Love LA consumer show, and the LA Weekly’s Little Sexy Black Book, which he edits.
Ian admitted that Freddy and Eddy’s long-term customers — the store has been in business for almost five years — are bummed about the closure, but some have agreed to evolve their shopping habits alongside the evolution of the store and purchase their sex products online FreddyandEddy.com.
As for the store’s lineup of weekly events, however, Ian said the two will think of other ways, if at all, to bring them to customers. He said the pair may discuss hosting events such as their weekly Flirt night, during which women convene to talk about sex and other topics, at other retail locations or local venues.
“These are difficult times for everyone, and I hope that people can learn from our experience that they shouldn’t be afraid to confront their issues and make admissions about their businesses,” Ian said. “Be proactive and call your creditors, call each vendor to assure them your first order of business is to get them taken care of. These are things people avoid. My biggest piece of advice is to answer the phone, don’t hide from it all. Hiding only makes it worse.”