Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sextastic for Sale - Own your own adult shop!

Jodie and Scott have put both Carrum Downs and Morwell stores up for sale. After 11 years in the industry and 5 stores, the time has come for them to try another industry, or at the very least go down to one company store, and 'get a life back'! 
Both stores are profitable and have full sets accounts ready. The stores are very different in their operation and asking prices, so there is something for everyone, and indeed you may be interested in both. These are amazing stores with a fantastic customer base, and both offer great opportunities for any buyers.

Sextastic Carrum Downs has been successfully trading for 2 years and is still growing, The store is located at 35 Lathams Rd Carrum Downs and has a current permit and a strong customer base. The building is approx. 900sq mt with upstairs offices, boardroom, kitchen & shower. Downstairs has another tearoom and toilet, a retail floor and a warehouse with high roller door access.
The asking price for Carrum Downs is $335,000 plus stock.

Sextastic Morwell is a small store in a great position sharing a car-park with Coles and several other leading businesses. The store has been successfully operating for 17 years and operates 6 days a week, closing at 6pm most nights, so heaps of room for growth.
The asking price for Morwell is $75,000 plus stock.

Both stores are fully furnished and ready for you to takeover. For all enquiries please contact either Jodie 0423 065 433 or Scott 0415 728 217, or via email:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Girls on Film

Back in 2002 we had a staff member that we will call 'Marg', just to avoid any legal pitfalls! Now Marg was a great sales person and as you will find out in this little TRUE story, she always tried to give people what they wanted.

Marg used to work a mix of day and night shifts at our old Hallam store, she was reliable, and one of our kids played against her child in sport some weekends. So we knew her well, so we thought. Also Jodie has a close friend Minnie that she has known for 20 years, and one day Minnie's husband came home from work and said there is this Video (which was still available) of a girl having sex on a washing machine with a local guy in the Hallam area. The video was being sold around the Hallam industrial estate for $20!

Now I don't have to state the obvious do I, but, yes the girl was Marg, and it was well known that Marg worked at Sextastic! On further examination and enquiry to the local lads that came in to buy their mags and DVD's, we found out that Marg was often available out the back in the tearoom at Sextastic for a $30 heady! Now I am a very business minded, and the first one to try different product ranges and services, but despite the fact that we weren't getting a cut of the action, there are all sorts of legal problems, and permit issues with this.

So while business was good, and Marg's add-ons were great, we had to pull her up...pardon the pun! I never did see the video but I am told it's a scream!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

How did you get into this?

This question must be the number one question Jodie and I get asked, actually there is another question that comes close, but I will get to that later! The background of how I got into the adult retail industry is very different to Jodie's, and as Jodie invented the concept, this is about her.

Back in 1999 Jodie went to buy her first vibrator, and found an adult shop in Frankston which is about 35km out of Melbourne, or as she likes to call it, Frana! After finally getting the courage up to step foot into the place she is confronted by the stereo typical bald man standing behind the counter, reading a porno mag! She looked around and felt as though he was watching her, as in watching her a bit too closely! The atmosphere was such that there was no help, advice, or any kind of service, let alone music and colour. So she quickly picked a vibrator up off the rack, which was $200, and went to the counter and paid for it, and got out.

After catching her breath, and feeling as though there must be a better adult shop somewhere in the Southern suburbs, Jodie began hunting around. To her surprise there were no female friendly adult shops. So Jodie decided to fix that, and started Sextastic Party Plan by having a stall at the Dandenong Market. It was such a success that she looked around and found a shop for lease and applied to open her 1st store.

How much help do you think she got from Council?? would be correct if you guessed sweet FA! The time frame for doing this suggested at about 6-9 months by the planning department, but quickly grew out to 18 months! Jodie in the mean time started to have a stall at Sexpo's around the country and gained product knowledge by researching all sorts of books, and information on the subject of adult sex education, which is now her passion. The wholesalers were very reluctant to supply her at first, as it was incredibly unusual for a female to not only own an adult shop, but even more rare to actually run one herself.

So once Jodie made a decision to open an adult shop, she was not going to take no from anybody, which won't surprise anyone who has met her! A girl with Catholic parents, and a non supportive family tried to stand in her way. She was told she could have done anything in her life, so why do this. Not only were family against the idea, but Casey Council, and would you believe it, Jodie's own Town Planner, which was supposed to be on her side.

Of course the Council rejected the application after they caused more delays than a bottle of Indian God lotion contains. Then what happens is an appeal process to VCAT (a planning dispute tribunal), so Jodie contacted her planner and asked to start the process, and was then told by the man who she was paying several thousands of dollars to, that he couldn't do the appeal, because he works on behalf of the Casey Council!! Now, how is that for an honest, ethical guy! This individual, actually ended up representing against Jodie at VCAT, the same man who designed, and presented for Jodie at the Council meeting with her application!

Not one to take this sort of thing lightly, Jodie pressed on and defeated this professional Town Planner and Council, and eventually, after paying 18 months of rent on a building she couldn't use, Sextastic Hallam was open in August 2001. Not bad for a lady who just had 2 children, and family along with others against her.

Right from day one Hallam was a success because it was full of toys, games and novelties for woman, in fact the first 'catch cry' of Sextastic was 'for woman and their partners'. This was printed under the name on the front of the building, and we actually used to have men park their cars and ask if it was a women only shop! Jodie made sure that the development of the brand was based around advice, and setting a culture of fun, love and education, that made Sextastic, and still does make stand out from the rest.

As for me, well I was lucky enough to meet Jodie again in 2002 after we were childhood friends in our teens in a suburb called Clayton. (Or as Jode has a way of re-naming suburbs, ClaytonMate)! I was working in retail as a Manager and it took until 2005 until I was convinced to help her grow the business, with much less fanfare and resistance than Jodie got. So 6 years on we are still together in the business, and in life, and we will be sharing some stories of those times with you each week now. (Boy do we have some stories)!! 

O'h by the way i said at the start there was another question that came close in popularity to the 'how did we' question, and that is "What kind of people come into Sextastic"? The answer.......people just like you!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentines Day - Love Is In The Air - Or is it?

Jodie and I were discussing Valentine’s Day about 5 weeks ago, and how we were going to market the retail stores and the online store for this period of what I call 'the 2nd Xmas' for our industry. Usually it is a line ball case as to whether Xmas or Valentine’s Day is a bigger trade period for us.  We tried to find out what Valentine’s Day means for us, personally, and also what the Sextastic customers thought of Valentine’s Day. That way we could market, colour code and target a demographic of the community that would give us the best results for the business From what started out as an hour meeting, turned into a 3 hour odyssey of reflection, commitment, questioning, interrogation, and finally, the question, "Why would you want to celebrate love only once a year"??

My recovery, or 'get out of jail card', was to suggest we ask the customers as they shopped during January. The response of roughly 270 odd people to the question of,  "What does Valentine’s Day mean to you"? was not what I was expecting. My perception was that most couples would be doing something special for Valentine’s Day, whether it was a gift from Sextastic, or a dinner, or a simple bit of recognition. To my surprise most (about 70%) said that the day was either non-existent or they 'may' do something but not sure. So what the hell is Valentine’s Day then? Why do we have it? and What I am going to do on Valentine’s Day with Jodie? Do I simply say "Happy Valentine’s Day", or do I buy something??

Looking into the meaning and reasoning behind the day, it became clearer that once again religion plays a major role, then as usual, commercialism took over the day, and even changed the name of the day from Saint Valentine’s Day, to just plain old Valentine’s Day. According to Wikipedia Saint Valentine’s Day, was shortened to Valentine's Day around the late 60's. About this time it was deleted from the Roman Calendar by the Pope but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other!! (see i am right)! The actual religious connection dates back to 500AD long before Sextastic was established! But, not before sex was invented! And it is said that it is a day where girls can propose to guys.

My view is that it is really good to have a day where you can at the very least, acknowledge your special friend, lover, partner. We have so many other days that kind of bring us to attention, so why not a lovers day? Clearly I am in the minority, and the general consensus is that everyday should be Valentine’ Day, and you should not need a date in Calendar to tell someone you love them!

Fair point, so why have we been busy in the stores and online already if 70% of January customers said that it was not that important as a stand-alone day? Well I found the answer over the last few days! It seems that by talking with customers since Wednesday last week, most Valentine’s Day shoppers are either in a new relationship, trying to start a relationship, or, have been in a relationship that needs a spark, or a 'make-up' from a dispute of some sort. Fascinating stuff from a marketing point of view.

So for me I really enjoy Valentine’s Day, and for the record so does Jodie, and yes everyday you should tell your partner you love them.. The interesting thing from a retail perspective is that it would seem people are prepared to spend more per sale at this time of year because they are in effect buying not only the products, but the emotion, or comfort they are seeking in life. And at the end of the day, isn't that what we are all looking for everyday.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sextastic - 1st Blog!

My name is Scott Gowans and my wife Jodie and I own Sextastic Adult Variety Stores in Victoria Australia. Our business also has a website and we do Party Plan, and we hope to sell licenses to create a network of Sextastic stores.

Well, we have decided to move into the blogging world! We have so much to say, yet we weren't sure how to say it. I hope that over the coming months you will enjoy our blogs. We have long talked about writing a book and publishing it with our experiences over the 10 years we have being running our business. My God there are so many stories to tell about life, staff, customers, business and the characters we have met and continue to meet. Some stories made us laugh (most actually)!, some made us cry, and some of the business lessons have cut to the core.

I hope we can teach some people, and make others appreciate the difficulties involved in running a retail business with such restrictions as adult shops have. At the same time, give you an insight as to why this is such a fantastic industry that has made life anything but never dull!

Jodie and I can't wait to start writing!