Is S.T.O.R.E. the Pharma Girls of Porn?

I heard a story recently that some companies like Zero Tolerance are making more money selling their sex toy lines than they are their actual DVDs.   I don’t know if this is really true but in today’s brutal movie market, that doesn’t really surprise me.

I was recently involved in producing and then later marketing that movie to retail stores.  I actually took a list I was given of some 7,000 retail stores across the country and sat down with a few friends and just flat out called every single one and ask them to carry my movie.  What I found was really an eye opening experience. For the most part, retail stores don’t really care what movies they carry.  Their big concern is the bottom line.  They like buying cheaper porn which is typically porn and catalog titles.  New releases aren’t really on their radar because they consider them to cost prohibitive.

Having the opportunity to actually chat with hundreds and hundreds of brick and mortar store owners and then 100s more of brick and mortar employees, I got such an eye opening experience that was such a world of difference than marking movies online.

Years ago major cities had far more stores that sold adult movies than they do today.  They seem to be closing up at a very alarming rate these dates.  Just as news that Texas starting allowing the sale of sex toys came about, and people assumed it would be a big boost for adult retailers with actual real stores, we learned it was probably a little to late.  Almost over night the state probably lost about 50% of their brick and mortar adult retailers.

Of course store closures isn’t really news to most people.  This has been going on for awhile now.

Another interesting thing I learned is how they stock their stores.  They don’t call in to wholesalers and say like oh send me 15 copies of any specific movie, no matter how much marketing hype that movie title may have gotten.  For the most part, they all seem to be on this auto buy list where their wholesaler sends them a random collection of comps and catalogs every month.  They don’t care what they are, who stars in them or if the movie won any awards.   What they cared about is that they were getting them for $5 to $7 each and could turn around and retail them for $30 to $40 a pop and maybe even as much as $50 to $70.  Now keep on mind, that same movie online would sell for $15 to $20.

I’m not talking some random 1 or 2 stores here.  I actually mean 100s of store owners and employees told me about this.

I’m sure there are real life retail stores that do care about the movies they buy but I found very very very few of them.  In fact, in my list of over 7,000 retails that we spent months calling, I found less than 10 that really bothered to carry new releases on their own without customers requesting them and all of them were in California.

So then one night I’m watching TV and the show How I Met Your Mother was on.  It was the episode where Barny talks about how hot medical sales chicks are, the pharma girls he called them.  My mind flashed to the porn industry and how great it would be to have people in our own industry go from store to store to store like they did from doctor’s office to doctor’s office to sit down with retailers, show them their goods and get them to keep your products in stock.

Maybe like the medical supply chicks, you offer them promo material.  Hell I went to a doctor’s office once and almost everything in there was branded by different pharmaceutical companies – the gloves she wore, the white paper on the bed, the robe I wore, the q-tips, posters on the wall.  It was crazy.   That entire place was an explosion of advertising. LOL

So back to porn, it made sense, at least to me that someone needed to start making the rounds to retailers, giving them some promotional materials and incentives to carry their products.  For example, a studio could offer a retailer a life sized cardboard cutout featuring the star of their movie like those done up for Hocus Pocus XXX.  I’m sure there are tons of other promotional items they could offer a store in order to convince them to carry their latest movies.  The real point is that someone is out there going from store to store, like the pharma girls of porn.

Well it turns out there is someone out there visiting real life retailers, promoting products for a few select clients and it’s called the S.T.O.R.E. program, which stands for supporting the onsite retail establishment.

I don’t know who is behind this idea but I think it is utterly brilliant and I give them my kudos.  I think it’s just what our industry needs.  I really do.  While I love my technology.  Sometimes the best idea is not to just look forward but to take a step back and look at some old school techniques.

 

 

 

 

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