By: Andy Powell, Staff Writer
FERNDALE, MI – When Founder and President of Nalpac Ltd, Ralph Caplan, first announced the promotion of Glenn Leboeuf to Vice President of Operations back in November of 2013, neither veteran of the Adult Novelty Industry has ever looked back.
Leboeuf has been a part of the elite team at Nalpac Ltd since May of 2002. He is known to provide leadership and direction to its employees at the Nalpac’s distribution center.
With his knowledge and reputation throughout the Adult Entertainment Industry, he is known for always analyzing product sales and searching for new exciting items to keep Nalpac’s offerings fresh and unique.
I was so happy to have secured Leboeuf for this interview and to pull him from his hectic schedule that I was delighted to inform my editor that we would have him on for you.
JRL CHARTS, please welcome for the first time to the Leader in LGBT B2B Adult Entertainment News, Mr. Glenn Lebouef.
Andy Powell: Glenn, welcome to JRL CHARTS.
Glenn Leboeuf: Thanks for having me Andy.
Andy Powell: Nalpac Ltd has been servicing retailers since 1971. What do you attribute to the success of Nalpac?
Glenn Leboeuf: What I attribute the success of Nalpac is an excellent and motivated staff, a loyal and caring customer base that pushes us to do better, an extremely supportive group of suppliers that help us meet those customer demands, and also being in a geographic sweet spot doesn’t hurt either.
Andy Powell: With the competition so heavy in the wholesale market where you have to maintain daily operations, purchasing, warehousing, I.T, and gosh what else did I forget???……Glenn, tell our readers what a typical day is like for the Vice President of Operations, Glenn Leboeuf?
Glenn Leboeuf: It’s hectic!! It’s really a balancing act. On any given day I need to be able to balance immediate needs that our customers have with trying to achieve long term goals, while always being 3-steps ahead and looking towards the future.
Andy Powell: Nalpac Ltd distribution provides 1000’s of products ranging from BDSM products, to candles to cockrings, condoms, bachelorette and party accessories, Games, Books, Lingerie…..to even the Fifty Shades of Grey Official Pleasure Collection. How do you go about choosing the brands of products that you will carry?
Glenn Leboeuf: There are several ways Nalpac chooses products to carry. We choose some products based on what we see at shows where we can strike up a relationship with suppliers and learn more about the products. We choose products from existing suppliers when they come out with new lines or products. We also take into account customer recommendations, a lot of brand and product choices we make are driven by customer demand and predicting what we think the customer demand will be.
Andy Powell: Glenn as you know, retailers can be demanding at times. Many retailers state that several brands in both the BDSM market as well as the general Adult toys marketplace, have tons of defective merchandise. They are extremely cautious on carrying new products that have yet to be tested in the marketplace. How do you and your sales team help to educate retailers what brands they should carry that can turn a profit for their bottom line?
Glenn Leboeuf: The Nalpac product selection committee has years of experience when it comes to recognizing product trends and making recommendations. All of Nalpac’s sales account managers try to give recommendations to their retail customers based on their past buying history, their demographics, their geographical location, as well as the type of clientele the retailer services.
Nalpac also recently hired Tracy Tinsley (pictured right) as the new Business Development Coordinator. Nalpac understands the need for customer education and with Tracy, we can better help educate our customers on the products and give merchandising techniques. Tracy can go into stores to provide recommendations based on her experience and word of mouth of what’s selling well. Being educated about products and knowing what sells well will help retailers’ bottom line.
Andy Powell: Nalpac has always been in attendance at the Adult B2B Trade Shows to not only sell merchandise from your brands but are also on hand to help retail buyers choose and promote your products. How would you compare the trend of retailers who are in attendance at the trade shows compared to say 5 years ago? What changes have you seen that have been both positive and negative at the Adult B2B Trade Shows for distributors?
Glenn Leboeuf: I definitely see a shift in the types of retailers in attendance now as opposed to five years ago. Because of this trend Nalpac now sees a mix of different retailers going to different shows. We need to be as supportive as possible to our manufacturers and our diverse clientele, so we see the benefit of attending different trade shows in order to better service all of our brick and mortar and online retail customers.
Andy Powell: Retailers have told me that they wish more manufacturers and their distributors wish they had more marketing materials (ie., store display tools) to help promote brands in their display windows or on their store floors. What are your thoughts on manufacturers providing marketing materials that can surely help distributors move their products in retail?
Glenn Leboeuf: I am all for it! We endeavor to partner heavily with our suppliers to be very hands-on with our retailers, and we’re working with retailers to help re-merchandise their stores to have more visual appeal for the consumer.
Andy Powell: Glenn, I have to ask about the Nalpac Blog which rumor has it you are busy revamping the online network. Will you have Adult Toy reviewers as well as adult performers giving reviews on your top brands? Or, will you have Adult Toy Experts on hand on the Nalpac Blog helping to educate retailers as well as Adult consumers?
Glenn Leboeuf: The Nalpac blog can be found by visiting our website Nalpac.com and clicking the blog link. We are in the process of revamping the site to make it more retailer friendly. We have our “literature load” section, which contains all the latest Nalpac news, press releases and blog posts about manufacturer demonstrations. We have the“product” section, which contains all the newest and upcoming products we will carry as well as any material that will help our retailers better understand our products.
This will include for retailers any sell sheets with important product information and instructional videos to better help our retailers sell Nalpac products. We are in the process of adding the Nalpac family to the blog also so our retailers can get up close and personal with their sales representatives!
Andy Powell: Excellent Glenn….I know that retailers will be watching out for the upgrades. ….Let me turn to the lubricant market for one moment Glenn. As you know the FDA has been coming down hard on lubricants as well as male enhancement pills. How has Nalpac Ltd. been dealing with the dilemmas of recognized name brands having to cut back their inventory due to the new FDA regulations? What are your thoughts on Big Brother Government stepping into a market that has been around for more than 50 years?
Glenn Leboeuf: The 510(k) has been a very costly endeavor for the lubricant companies that have been proactive about making sure they comply with FDA regulations. Nalpac has been watching and listening to the manufacturers. We have been paying attention to which are in the process of getting their 510(k) and which are not. We know this is a costly endeavor, and we know that this will eventually become a reality for most, if not all companies. However we are trying to support suppliers as best as we can.
Andy Powell: Glenn, with 2015 in full swing, what are some of the exciting new projects coming out of Nalpac for 2015?
Glenn Leboeuf: Nalpac is very excited about some new lines we’re picking up. At the forefront we have LA Pump, which some refer to as the “Cadillac” of penis pumps. LA Pump has been popular in the penis pump community for years and Nalpac is happy to be a part of that. We also have a high quality BDSM line coming in really soon to further fill the need of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. We’re also looking to partner with one or two lingerie companies, as well as branch out to some other categories with existing suppliers.
Andy Powell: Glenn you know that both retailers and JRL CHARTS fans can’t wait to see whats coming down the pike from Nalpac this year. This is something that I have been asked repeatedly over by new manufacturers attempting to break into the Adult Novelty marketplace Glenn…….How can upstart brands who are vigorously looking for distribution in this competitive marketplace, attract Nalpac Ltd to carry their new brands that no one has ever heard or seen before? What is your advise for new companies attempting to enter the Adult Entertainment Industry of pleasure products?
Glenn Leboeuf: Utilize trade shows like XBIZ retreat and ExpoMark. These are great venues for a new company to get into the face of distributors and display their products. When you go to a trade show where you set up a booth to display your products you have to compete against the already established suppliers and your booth might get lost in the mix. You have to differentiate yourself somehow, either by having a unique product, having a high quality product or having a better price point than your competitors.
Andy Powell: As you know Glenn, many distributors go through sales staff members like water at times. Many reasons come to mind as to why this happens. What makes the Nalpac Ltd sales team stand out from your competitors? Is it their knowledge of the products or their dedication to servicing retail merchants…what makes the Nalpac team stand out and be welcomed with not only sales but promotional events as well?
Glenn Leboeuf: Our Nalpac sales team stands out because we have seasoned, established, sales account managers. They not only know the products but the industry as well, and have seen trends and are pretty good predictors of what sells and what doesn’t.
We also have a good mix of up-and-coming sales representatives that rapidly gain product knowledge and technical expertise to service a new category of customers, “e-retailers”. That makes a really good blend when you’re trying to decide on new products. It’s also beneficial that all of the Nalpac sales team is extremely customer focused and they’re always trying to do the best for their customers.
Andy Powell: Glenn, tell us about the official social media network of Nalpac Ltd and how it has help expand the Nalpac brand name?
Glenn Leboeuf: Nalpac’s various social media networks has helped reach current and new customers. We utilize and are on pretty much all-social media channels. For our current clients, social media is a good way to reach out to each other online and also a way for them to see what types of new or upcoming items we have.
For potential new customers, social media allows them to search our website, blog, or social media sites like: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, G+, to see what types of products we carry, or even to see what type of clientele we service. Nalpac’s social media pages also allow our customers to network and speak with other retailers about tips and tricks. Some of our customers like speaking to a sales representative in person, over the phone, or through email, but social media is another avenue where current and potential new customers can be reached.
Andy Powell: One thing that I have to make sure to ask about because many retailers have mentioned this to our charts department that handles the JRL Top 100 charts as well as New Release postings for Retail Merchants. Many have said that it would be a good thing for manufacturers to produce video demos for their stores to use in promoting their brands. What are your thoughts on advising your manufacturers to not only have reviewers producing video reviews of their products when at times the quality is very poor….but…..to have them create their own professional demos to help get their new products into retail as a sales tool?
Glenn Leboeuf: Many manufacturers Nalpac works with already are creating their own videos in one form or another. We think it’s a great idea to utilize video reviews and professional demos as a sales tool. There are a lot of products out there, which means lots of videos, so to help retailers properly utilize the videos and to help them get visual media into their brick and mortar stores they could request a visit from our Business Development Coordinator, Tracy Tinsley.
She helps assist Nalpac customers get up and running with proper sales tools to help sell the products to their consumers. For our online “e-retailers”, they could utilize our website Nalpac.com and then utilize our blog to find manufacturer product videos and share them on their own websites.
Andy Powell: Glenn, thank you for joining me for the first time on JRL CHARTS. I hope that you will come back and chat with me again on the Leader in LGBT B2B Adult Entertainment News.
Glenn Leboeuf: Andy, it was truly my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to JRL Charts on behalf of Nalpac Ltd.
Andy Powell: Thanks again Glenn……Retailers….you can keep up to date daily on all of the goings on at Nalpac Ltd Distribution on their Official Social Media Network:
I would like to thank Vice President of Operations at Nalpac Ltd, Glenn Leboeuf, for giving us his in-site on the state of the Adult Novelty marketplace for retailers to gain information from and, for our consumer fans who will be eager to review the social media network of Nalpac to see all of the goodies coming soon to your favorite online retailer or brick & mortar outlet near you.
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