LOS ANGELES — Lanny Cohen, veteran retailer and owner of one-stop distributor AVNS Inc., told XBIZ he has launched a new division of his company called AVNS Smoke to help retailers fill the void of the declining DVD market.
Cohen said he’s finding ways to increase revenue by stocking his new smoke shops with a small percentage of adult-oriented products and also selling smoking accessories in his adult stores.
He said that opening new adult stores in this climate with strict zoning laws everywhere is a tall order, but that in most cities a retailer can stock 25-35 percent of their store with adult product with just a regular business license.
He wants to get the word out to other adult retailers so they can also benefit from smoke products.
“We’ve been handling a lot of wholesale smoking accessories and vape stuff,” Cohen said. “We’ve tested it out with one store in Chicago, the Treasure Trove. I bought it for $40k and it was doing about $200 a day but right now it’s doing over $1000 a day. The smokes are selling great.
"Now Romantix is buying from us along with a few other adult stores throughout the country.”
Cohen said about a month ago he turned his adult store in Anaheim into a Puffs smoke shop, keeping 25-30 percent of adult product in it.
“We’re using it as a test and building upon what it is,” he said. “I’ve been very happy with it."
The key is acquiring a store space large enough to accommodate a decent-sized adult section.
“If any of the adult bookstores are hurting I can show them how they can make money with the smoke stuff,” Cohen said. “As long as they’re buying merchandises from us I’ll show them how to do it.”
Cohen has created a website at AVNSmoke.com that shows the various merchandise they carry, including hand pipes, water pipes, vape pens, grinders and bubblers.
He said he includes some of everything in his smoke shop adult sections, including DVDs, sexual enhancements, rubber goods, novelties and lotions.
Cohen owns six stores across the country and two of them are smoke shops, but he’s looking to add a few more sooner than later.
For more information, visit AVNSmoke.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.