SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA – Retailers today I bring you a true veteran of the Adult Entertainment Industry on the distribution side of the business. Kenneth Park who is the Vice President of Springtown DVD Distribution agreed to do an interview with me on the state of the Adult DVD marketplace.
SpringtownDVD continues to be one of the top one-stop sources for a vast array of adult movies across a diverse supplier base for retailers worldwide. They conduct business from their 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse where approximately 45,000 titles are currently stocked. The fabulous SpringtownDVD website provides retail merchants with the convenience of 24-hour shopping.
With over 20 years in business, SpringtownDVD Distribution continues to be a major source for your inventory and they continue to use their superior industry knowledge to serve adult shops, video stores, and e-tailers all over the globe.
One thing that SpringtownDVD Distribution has built a solid reputation on is their outstanding customer service to merchants. Every sales representative’s top priority is their customer’s best interests. To continue to offer advise and strategy to insure that their customers are competitive and that their customer base is satisfied to the utmost.
Keith Witchka: Kenneth Park, thank you for joining me on JRL CHARTS. Let’s get into it…as you know the DVD marketplace has taken a dramatic turn over the past 8 years. Retailers first complained that the Internet was taking DVD sales away then it went to piracy and now its digital downloads of individual scenes from upcoming DVD productions…….Tell me…What advise does your sales team give to retailers when voicing these concerns?
Kenneth Park: Retailers are right to be concerned that DVD sales are declining, but simply put: DVD is not dead! My advice to them is to be more proactive as business-owners. Let’s say that you have these two adult stores – comparable in size and in location. Store A gets good traffic with good DVD sales and Store B is pretty much deserted. In this scenario, I would bet that Store A would be owned by someone who is very involved in his business, knows his customers and knows what they want. He fills his shelves with DVDs that he knows will sell and restocks consistently, changing up the selections on a regular basis. Store B would be owned by someone who leaves the buying to some part-time employee who doesn’t know or care about the customers and make a DVD order once in a blue moon. Owners and manager, be an active participant! We get new customers that come to us and say “I have a $1000 budgeted for DVDs. Send me a $1000 worth of DVD.” We tell them: “Divide the $1000 into five weekly orders of $200 and keep your shelves stocked with ever-changing selections. Keep things interesting for your customers. It’s not too late to breathe life back into your DVD sales!
Keith Witchka: As you know..this mirrors the movie and music industries worries. Could this be the reason retailers are continuing to invest more into catalog DVD sales versus new releases?
Kenneth Park: I would have to disagree that retailers invest more into catalog than new releases. True, new release sales have gone down, but I think that has more to do with the general decline of the DVD sales overall.
Keith Witchka: Now to be fair…catalog sales have always moved more in retail. Especially over the past 15 years. However we don’t see a large amount of compilations on the market anymore. I’m sure you remember the days of 4, 6 8 and even 16 hour compilation titles. What are your thoughts on the balancing act of investing for your inventory, new releases versus catalog versus the few remaining compilation titles?
Kenneth Park: We may be seeing less of the 4-, 6-, 8-, and 16-hour compilation titles because the newer releases drop to catalog sooner these days than in the past. It’s true that catalog titles have always moved more in retail and continue to do so. I feel it’s due to the fact that consumers of pornography tend to be casual viewers. The hardcore fans of certain genres or certain performers still actively seek out the newest releases, but a good portion of them will be drawn to the digital downloads so that definitely affects new release DVD sales. So retailers, you need to know your customers! If you have more casual viewers, stock more catalog and compilation titles.
Keith Witchka: When I did my research for this article I spoke with my fellow staff writer Andy Powell. He as you know works in the charts department and deals with retailers on a daily basis…He says that retailers continue to complain about distributors who cannot or refuse to deal with reorders or special orders. However SpringtownDVD seems to never have this issue. How do you make sure that your retail vendors get their product when they need it without all of the excuses of unavailability?
Kenneth Park: As long as you’re one of our regular customers, we do our best to acquire your special orders as soon as we can. Over the course of the last decade, this has become our specialty. Our focus is on taking care of online retailers who don’t keep the DVDs they sell in stock, keeping them updated of the ETA for the back-ordered items. We do this by focusing more on providing great customer service than to invest in salespeople. What’s interesting to note is that we have smaller distributors/wholesalers that place special orders with us, not just the retailers. We have a good system in place and we do a good job of it.
Keith Witchka: Tell me about the SpringtownDVD website where retailers can utilize it for all of their purchasing needs.
Kenneth Park: A word to the wise: don’t buy DVDs blindly. Remember when distributors would sell only genre-specific or studio-specific grab boxes to the retailers? You get no say in what titles you get, you buy a 100-pc grab box, open it up and find that you have about 20 DVDs good enough to sell and the rest are crap. You get stuck with 80 overstock titles you don’t know what to do with. We aimed to get rid of this practice and that is why we started our website. Our being a wholesaler, we do have a $100 minimum order policy, but we give you the freedom to buy exactly what you want and only what you want – 1 Jules Jordan title, 1 Devil’s Film titles, 10 assorted catalog titles, 2 new releases, 2 special order titles – in whatever assortments your heart desires. We don’t force you to buy 100-pc grab box that consists of 80% crap. Our website will let you see box cover images of each item and you can search and sort by genre, by price, by studio, et cetera. On top of all that, we run a new sale every month, where we offer rock-bottom prices on a great selection of various studios.
Keith Witchka: Some e-tailers have complained that it is almost impossible to establish new wholesale accounts with distributors. What is your advice on e-tailers and new brick & mortar retailers who wish to tape into the Gay adult DVD marketplace?
Kenneth Park: You will never have that problem with us. Visit our website, click “Create A New Account” and create your login! After that, send us a copy of your business license/seller’s permit (for brick & mortar stores) or URL to your online storefront (for e-tailer outside of California), then you’re all set to shop from our website! It’s beyond us why there would be e-tailers out there having trouble establishing wholesale accounts. Come to us and we’ll treat you right!
Keith Witchka: As a One-Stop Distributor who carries every legal genre in the adult marketplace including sex toys and pleasure products, how has SpringtownDVD managed to fight against the winds of change while several of your competitors have closed shop?
Kenneth Park: We take less and give more. We take a smaller profit and strive to provide better service than anyone else. Times are tough and some of our peers have closed shop, but we see this as an opportunity to stand out. We’re still going strong and we plan to stick around.
Keith Witchka: With many retailers moving more into stocking their inventory with sex toys and pleasure products, retailers are not making the margins in profit the way they do in DVD sales and rentals. Do you see this always being an asset for the DVD market or do you see sex toys adjusting their prices to sway more buyers? After all, any retailer will tell you that they do not make as much profit from toys as they do with DVDs and several brands of sex toys are simply crap. They stock them, can’t move them and then never buy those brands again. Is this in your opinion, simply the norms of the industry that have always been here or, is this an opportunity for DVDs to come up with a model …other than dropping prices more…that can attract not only buyers but consumers back into brick & mortar stores?
Kenneth Park: I don’t really see any correlation between DVD sales and sex toys sales. DVD sales are certainly affected by digital downloads, but I don’t see how the DVD market would affect the sex toy market or vice versa. I am aware that the sex toy market has seen tremendous growth in recent years, so it would behoove a brick & mortar establishment to diversify their product offerings by carrying a few sex toys alongside DVDs.
Keith Witchka: One thing I can say that I noticed right off the bat with the SpringTownDVD website….it is extremely easy to navigate to find what you want. With such ease in establishing your account, locating the genre one wishes to review….tell me…have you ever considered signing both heterosexual and LGBT adult labels as exclusives? And if not…why?
Kenneth Park: I can’t say that we’ve never considered it, but it’s just not practical or very necessary. It would be a different story if our website was aimed to serve the end-user directly, but we are a distributor and the retailers who buy from us often stock both hetero and LGBT movies.
Keith Witchka: With the 2016 Gay Pride Season coming up fast, what does SpringTownDVD have in store for retailers during May, June, July and August for Pride Season? Any hot specials?, giveaways?….etc…?
Kenneth Park: We’ve established business connections with more studios than ever and our LGBT product offerings are continuing to expand, but we won’t pretend to be LGBT experts. If anyone reading this article caters to the LGBT consumers and would like to offer input on what products they’re looking for, we’d love to hear from you. Unlike the other guys, providing a personal service is one of our strengths. We don’t address customer inquiries with canned emails.
Keith Witchka: With all of the state of the art technologies coming into the adult marketplace such as virtual reality, more and more love dolls, do you see DVDs and traditional sex toys becoming a thing of the past?
Kenneth Park: While the adult industry will never go away, DVD may go the way of the dinosaurs at some point in the future….sadly.
Keith Witchka: What advise can you give has a veteran adult distributor to retailers who have a high turnover rate in their managerial staff.. on how to maintain your inventory to keep their customer base interested? And not simply go in and look and say ..”oh.. the same old stuff”….Hence losing customers instead of maintaining and growing.
Kenneth Park: As I’ve mentioned before, you are fooling yourself if you think you can maintain and grow your business while leaving your store at the hands of some part-time employee who don’t know or care about the business. You must take the reins, get to know your customers and personally oversee purchasing. Buy small and frequently and keep your selection fresh. You have to change it up and give your customers something to look forward to. You want them to come back to your store week after week, wondering what they’ll find the next time they’re there. If you have items that just won’t move, get rid of it ASAP, even if you have to take a loss to do it. Don’t keep an $29.99 item sitting on the same spot on the shelf week after week gathering dust.
Keith Witchka: Kenneth, thank you again for taking the time out to chat with me about the DVD and sex toy marketplace.
Kenneth Park: No, we thank YOU for this fantastic opportunity to talk about our business and our website.
Keith Witchka: Retailers there you go…….from one of the top wholesale distributors in the business. I thank Kenneth Park for taking the time out to share his views on our great industry. Retailers and E-Tailers!….Make sure to check out SringtownDVD Distribution to register your wholesale account. For more information on SpringtownDVD, call one of their veteran account representatives at (562)777-0101, Fax (562) 777-0555 or email Order@springtowndvd.com.
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