Execs of 2015: Retail Industry Leaders Discuss Top Business Trends

XBIZ Premiere is pleased to present “Execs of 2015: The Year in Review.”

Each of the executives we spoke to below has one thing in common — they are among the finalist nominees for the online industry edition of the 2016 XBIZ Exec Awards.

Honey’s Place is constantly evolving. That is what makes it such a wonderful company to work for. In the four years that I have been working at Honey’s Place, I have seen many companies fail and become extinct due to a lack of agility to adapt to changes in market dynamics. -Inga Van Riper, Honey's Place

XBIZ captures the thoughts of these influential and motivational leaders as we sought their take of the year 2015.

The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Progressive Leadership Award:

XBIZ: How has your business evolved over the past year? How did you adapt to or take charge of this year's trends?

Daniel Freedman
CEO, Pink Cherry

“Pink Cherry had a massive expansion just about one year ago, with opening a 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Las Vegas. We are the only distributor on the planet with full warehousing and fulfillment in both countries. Another monumental business change is that we launched; with Lace, it affords us the ability to really go after mainstream advertising venues, whether it be billboards, radio, TV etc. We constantly are praised for our unparalleled customer service, getting 4.9/5.0 on, which is Canada’s premier review site — and our customers joke that they want us to open other businesses because they love us so much. Lace will become the major go-to brand for all of your favorite lingerie brands, as well as custom Lace-branded garments.”

Andy Green
President, XGen Products

“While I don’t think I can easily summarize this year’s evolution, I believe that the key to our success has been my approach to business evolution itself. Though we have grown immensely in the short five years we’ve been around, I’ve always pushed to do so at a controlled, steady pace. Through keen observance of our market and customer trends, we have always managed to deliver the right grouping of products that elevates XGEN to another level. I’m typically very cautious about determining fads versus trends. That said, we are fortunate as a self-contained manufacturer/distributor to be able to respond quickly to demands. Whether it’s the expansion of our multi-function Bodywands or the addition of Kalan novelties, I’m thrilled to answer the call of every retailer we work with.”

Joel Kaminsky
Owner, Good Vibrations

“Trends are a moving target. We are careful to monitor a fad versus a shift in customer behavior whether in consumer spending or the types of products being bought. We are at the mercy of technology, and this past year featured more app-controlled toys and a more crowded rechargeable vibrator arena. We ensured in-stock status for all popular but body-safe products in that genre. We also saw a shift in consumer behavior from showrooming to more webrooming, meaning consumers were now doing more research online and then looking where it could be purchased at brick and mortar. In the past, it was more of the reverse: viewing in the store and shopping for it cheaper online. As far as adult toys are concerned, rechargeables continue to evolve and change the landscape of inventory. Finally, an ongoing trend for us is the evolution of our customer base. More couples are shopping, and a lot more younger consumers are open to asking questions regarding products.”

Scott Taylor
President, New Sensations

“We have stayed very strong in themes like hotwifing through ‘Tales from the Edge,’ light bondage with ‘Emma Marx,’ ‘She’s in Charge’ and ‘Schoolgirl Bound,’ as well as our faux-cest series from Tabu Tales. In the coming year, we will keep evolving with new concepts and continue to grow our online presence. A strong online presence translates very well in membership and VOD as well as DVD sales. One of the most important things we do as a company is to never be complacent. The history of our production over the years is a showcase in evolution. As we close out 2015, we look ahead to setting new trends while enjoying the success of the past year. Forward, always forward.”

Founder, Spareparts Hardwear

“Over the past year, we have continued to develop new, innovative products for our line. We focus on quality, not quantity. We take our time with our releases to make sure that what we are producing makes sense and works for our customers. Our past year has been great, and we continue to service our retailers and our customers. We look for current, not yearly, trends. We do this because our products are meant to last for many years. We only look at trends that look like they might be around for a while. We are always looking at fashion and performance innovations for the newest fabrics, superior quality and texture, and cutting-edge performance and breathability.”

Inga Van Riper
Brand Manager, Honey's Place

“Honey’s Place is constantly evolving. That is what makes it such a wonderful company to work for. In the four years that I have been working at Honey’s Place, I have seen many companies fail and become extinct due to a lack of agility to adapt to changes in market dynamics. We are encouraged to research and to study the market trends and through collaboration between everyone in our leadership team, decide what will benefit the company, manufacturers and most importantly, our customers. Our biggest change in 2015 continues to be in technology. We are implementing data and analysis that determines purchasing trends. This will reduce the number of back orders and will help reduce excessive inventory and overall cost. For our e-commerce platform, we take pride that some of our templates have responsive designs and fare better than our competition on search engines such as Google.”