So there's two sex shops in our community. One is obviously my work place, where we specialize in adult products that are of a higher quality and have a small variety of corsets, fishnets, pasties, and all those adornment goodies. When people walk in our store they describe it as "warm and welcoming". We have no secret backroom (unless you count the inventory closet), everything we sell we have out on the floor. It's a very sex positive lifestyle supportive store.
The other store is actually around the corner from us. It has two rooms. The front is all lingerie, costumes, corsets, and dresses. A hallway full of feather boas leads you to the backroom, where the sex toys are sold. Before my store opened, I used to shop here all the time. Actually, I still do. Since the stores are not the same, it doesn't feel like cheating. Just checking out my different options.
Right now there's a slight battle going on between the stores.
As much as I would love a sex shop community support system, over the years it has turned into a mud slinging battle. Being the smaller and newer store, it has been extremely difficult for us to even stay in business. Yet, we have survived and provided a sex positive service to the community.
What I think works is that the two stores are not identical. Ours focuses on products we have reviewed and recommend, as well as local authors and toy providers. We also offer weekly classes in which people can learn and listen to a variety of topics. The other store, like I mentioned, has more costumes and clothing. Yes they do have a sex toy area, but they are mainly known for the outfits. It's important to keep the two store distinct and to give people different options. Having one store in an area may to profitable for that store, but it gives people no variety. Where's the fun?
Personally, I think the employees of the store should have a pudding wrestling contest for charity. How kick ass would that be?
*sigh* a girl can dream