By now, most adult retailers have recognized the buying power of today’s younger, post-Baby Boomer, porn-buying market.
Of these customers, Video Dimensions store manager Donna Tietz said affectionately, “A 30 year old comes in the store, he always buys something, even if he didn’t exactly find what he was looking for when he came in. A 50 year old? If we don’t have it, he leaves.”
Here are some quick recommendations from other retailers on how to maximize the buying power of this age group in your store.
Be media-savvy. Gens X and Y porn consumers are more plugged into what’s going on at the nexus of popular culture and porn than your older customers.
“If a girl’s been on Howard Stern or on E!, I will have [younger] customers in here the next day asking for her movies,” Tietz said.
Ditto, said Joel Jacobson, owner of Cinema Concepts Adult Video in Newington, Conn.
“I have a great distributor who keeps me up on who’s been on Howard Stern so I can have what some of my customers are asking for,” Jacobson said.
So start tuning in to Stern and E! already.
Be aware of Gens X and Y budgets, especially if your store is near a college. Keep some of your product decidedly on the cheap but good end for the 20 year old.
“The younger guys don’t always have the money for the full-priced stuff, so we keep a lot of comps around. They need to be able to have beer and pizza money, too,” Mark, the store manager of Adult Video in Manchester, N.H., noted.
“A way to keep them from downloading it in their dorm is to have enough good, stuff cheap without making your store looking like it’s full of garbage. You have to have your Buttmans, but you need those comps, too,” Jacobson said.
The kids love gonzo. “We do very well with the Ninn and anything from Shane’s World, including the Shane’s World toy line from California Exotics does really, really well with us. Basically, they just don’t want to see any ugly guys,” Mitchell Brown, owner of the Something Sexy Superstores in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Fla.
But don’t forget Jenna what’s-her-name. Yes, the kids love gonzo, but they also love features queen Jenna Jameson, aka, the World’s Most Famous Porn Star. Her titles are a must-have for any store seeking to court that 20 to 30 demographic.
“You’ve gotta know what Jenna Jameson is doing, and if you don’t, you had better,” Brown said.
It’s not a bad idea to keep a deep stock of all that’s Jenna, including her Wicked features from a few years back, her current ones from ClubJenna and Vivid, and of course, all those comps.
Be sure they’re aware of you. Advertise in your local hip, alternative weekly, as this age group reads it.
“We were voted ‘Best Local Place to Buy a Vibrator’ by one of those weeklies, and anything that’s free advertising like that is great for us,” said Marcus Goswick, operations manager for Adam & Eve’s retail stores based out of Hillsborough, N.C.
Liberal college papers and strip club papers can also be good mediums in which to advertise.
As is, of course, the Internet. Chad Chunglow, co-founder of online-only adult retail site TooTimid.com based out of Woburn, Mass., banks on the 20 to 30 year old’s online savvy, as do many virtual retailers.
“We reach out to everyone, everyone of age, but part of being where that age group is means being online,” Chunglow said.
Brown agreed, saying, “This is an age group that does a lot of everything online, so we use that to our advantage by using our site as a sales tool. Even if something’s not on a shelf, we look for it on our site and offer to get it for them.”
Another virtual-turned-brick and mortar retailer banking on Gens X and Y is Jennifer Kaiser, who will be launching her Los Angeles store, Melrose Urban Female, in November, hoping to attract that younger adult demographic.
“The bottom line is making the consumer comfortable, and I am excited about my opportunity to do just that,” Kaiser said, smiling.
Here’s hoping you are, too.