Castle Megastore CEO Mark Franks to Receive Retail Pioneer Recognition at 2012 XBIZ Awards

LOS ANGELES — Castle Megastore CEO Mark Franks, who’s credited with revitalizing the Castle brand since taking over its leadership in 2003, will be the recipient of the Retail Pioneer special recognition at the highly anticipated 2012 XBIZ Awards show slated for Jan. 10 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

Industry colleague Susan Colvin, CalExotics’ president and CEO, commended Franks’ forward-thinking approach to business and passion.

“Mark’s extensive industry experience, from being a market leader in video production and distribution, to being the driving force behind Castle Megastore Group, Inc., makes him very deserving of the Pioneer Award,” Colvin said. “His passion, dedication and savvy business sense are truly admirable. Congratulations Mark on being honored by XBIZ!”

Longtime friend and business associate, Pipedream Products CEO Nick Orlandino offered a first-hand recollection of Franks’ revival of Castle Megastore.

"I've known Mark Franks for a long time,” Orlandino said. “I was involved in the Castle Megastore bankruptcy as a member of the creditors committee and watched him bring his company back to life and turn it into a viable and outstanding retailer of adult merchandise. I consider Mark a close friend and a great business man who really deserves this award."

Nasstoys President Elliot Schwartz said, “My most sincere congratulations to Mark Franks of Castle Megastore Group — a man of foresight and ingenuity in our industry who I am proud to call not only a colleague, but a valued friend.

“I know Mark for many years and have tremendous respect and admiration for him as a man who is a leader with a reputation for honesty and a hard-driving focus on upcoming trends and the ability to apply them,” Schwartz said. “I have watched Mark operate with ingenuity as he successfully breathed new life into his many projects and he is a leader in marketing and education as well as in the departmentalization and expansion of his kingdom. I wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.”

As part of the XBIZ Retail Advisory Board founding members, Franks has offered guidance and insight in shaping XBIZ Retail 2012 to be multi-faceted and beneficial to all professionals in the adult retail industry.

“It brings us great pleasure to honor Mark Franks for his trendsetting contributions to the development of the adult retail marketplace,” XBIZ President and Publisher Alec Helmy said. “As a high-profile member of the adult business community, Mark has utilized his decades of industry expertise to influence and nurture the success of not only his company but the business community as well.”

With more than 23 years of experience in the adult industry, Franks has been a market leader in video production and distribution in the U.S. and abroad. He also co-founded, built and operated a toy manufacturing facility with global distribution and has owned and operated a mail-order business, chain retail stores, show clubs and video distribution in Australia. In February, Mark Franks was profiled by Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek website as one of the top CEOs in the adult industry, where Castle Megastore was described as the "Best Buy equivalent of sex stores."

“I’m very honored to be considered for such a prestigious award from XBIZ,” Franks said. “I’ve been involved in the adult industry for about a quarter of a century and it’s been a great experience for me from the start and continues to be a great experience. I love the business and there’s nowhere else I‘d rather be. The industry continues to evolve and it’s been an incredible ride seeing how this business has become more and more a part of mainstream America.”

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