50 Shades of Grey: The Cure for Your Libido
Adult Novelty Biz Booms
“What we’ve found across the industry is that while the traditional old ‘dirty book store’ seems to not be doing so well, the ones that cater to couples and females are doing quite well,” says Keith Caggiano of Bushman Products.
Some adult toy makers are doing even better. Lelo, a high-end designer and manufacturer of adult novelties, has seen its business double every month this year.
Consumers, say manufacturers and retailers, are willing to pay more for a few reasons. Some feel the high end products are more effective than their cut-rate counterparts. Others buy into the high-end marketing. But a large percentage are willing to pay more, considerably more, for a product that will stand the test of time. Quality is most important is it not. Think of them like Coach in the toyland. ;-) People were so ashamed to buy them in the first place, that [the toy] could break and no one would complain. Now that sex toys are going mainstream, the consumer expects a certain level of quality from manufacturers and they’re getting quality. Manufacturers are learning a lesson from traditional retailers and making their products more aesthetically pleasing. Just as Target offers a coffeemaker designed by Michael Graves, many of today’s sex toys have a form factor that’s different than many people expect.
That’s particularly true at Lelo, which puts an increased focus on design. The company’s devices, which are rechargeable and offer warranties of up to 10 years, are so atypical looking that they’re carried in select mainstream stores. “We’re getting more and more inquiries on a regular basis,” says Donna Faro, Lelo’s U.S. sales manager. “The biggest interest in mainstream accounts is in the ladies lingerie high-end boutiques. We’re getting extremely high exposure in that market.”
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