I strongly suspect that 2012 has been the best year ever for pleasure products, with so many previously niche items finding their way into the mainstream and retailer after retailer reporting record sales figures. Who, this time last year, would have possibly predicted that at one point in the summer there would be a global shortage of jiggle balls? It sounds like something from The Onion News Network…
And who could have predicted that the catalyst – the stimulator, if you will – for all this frenzied activity would be the humble written word? For next year’s ETO Awards, EL James will certainly get my vote in the Services to the Industry category, and if there’s any justice she will also get the support of many more of you, particularly if you work at Ann Summers or Lovehoney.
It’s just such a shame that Erotica was not around this season to capitalise on it all. Imagine how much media coverage there would have been at Olympia last month, particularly if the official Fifty Shades of Grey collection had been present and the awesome Lovehoney PR machine had mobilised the nationals.
Like many others in the industry, I am very much looking forward to Erotica returning next year. The UK needs a flagship consumer event, now more than ever.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we’ve still got December to go and analysts Verdict Research and SAS UK are expecting the UK retail spend over Christmas to rise 1% to £86bn this year. In their report, How Britain will shop for Christmas, they forecast that the major gift sectors to grow will include clothing & footwear, health & beauty and homewares – the first two of which encompasses products adult retailers specialise in.
On that optimistic note, our final issue of the year has just hit subscribers and is available to read online now. So on behalf of everyone at ETO I hope you have an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We will next be popping through your letterbox in early February but do please stay in touch during the intervening period by visiting www.erotictradeonly.com, liking us on Facebook [facebook.com/Erotictradeonly] or following us on Twitter [twitter.com/ETOMagazine].