By: Andy Powell, Staff Writer
LAS VEGAS, NV — It is a proud day for the LGBTQ community nationwide as the United States Supreme Court ruled today on a vote of 5-4 to legalize Gay Marriage in all 50 states. With the “2015 Gay Pride Season” setting record numbers at PRIDE Festivals Nationwide, I had a chance to chat with mega retail giant, Vice President Mark Miller of Lion’s Den Adult Superstores, on the exciting times of the LGBT community and how Lion’s Den has been at the forefront for supporting the LGBTQ community in all of their stores nationwide.
In fact Mark issued an official statement on the historic ruling of Gay Marriage in the United States of America;
“The Lion’s Den has fought for equality and tolerance for many, many years. We are celebrating this historic ruling and hope that it is just the beginning of a greater movement toward acceptance for all, regardless of sexual orientation. We believe this is a victory for all, not just the LGBTQ community.” Mark Miller.
Please welcome back to JRL CHARTS, Mark Miller!
Andy Powell: Mark, thank you once again for joining us here on JRL CHARTS. The Gay Pride Season of 2015 is underway and Lion’s Den Adult Superstores are once again a part of our celebration. How does it feel to be the leading adult retailer who participates in Gay Pride Celebrations nationwide Mark?
Mark Miller – We are always excited to interact with our customers at the many Gay Pride Celebrations across the country. The events allow us to learn what is happening in the LGBTQ community, while at the same time bring a fun, sexy product mix to a fun, sexy event. These events have also proven to be a great way to expose our brand to many in attendance who are not familiar with us, or to reconnect with those who have frequented our stores over the years.
Andy Powell: For fans who don’t know the history of the support of the Lion’s Den retail chain’s support of the LGBTQ community. Give us a brief background on how the company got started supporting the Pride Festivals in the USA.
Mark Miller: We never wanted to be just another vendor at an event. We wanted to provide value through our product offering and the knowledge our associates who work the events can share. Once we felt we could deliver on those key elements, the Pride Festivals were simply the next step for us. We have always been strong supporters of relationships. Our stores have a great selection of products to enhance relationships, so the Pride Festivals provide a great platform for us to bring a portion of our stores to members of the LGBTQ community.
Andy Powell: What are some of the exciting things that your crews has filled you in on at their appearances so far at the festivals that have wrapped already?
Mark Miller: After 43 years in business, we are still surprised by the number of folks who stop and say that they aren’t familiar with us. Anytime we can grow our brand awareness, we are excited. Our product offering at each event is always evolving, based on the things we have seen and heard at each previous event. We have also learned to watch the weather forecast closely and either expand or contract our product offering based temperature/precipitation predictions.
Andy Powell: Mark as you know, there are many changes going on in the Adult Film Industry both for retailers…..everything from zoning permit harassment to denial of movie booth permits to even targeting adult boutiques that simply have women and men lingerie in their window displays. With all of that, LGBTQ adult consumers are still supporting their local adult boutiques……is this why more adult stores are following in Lion’s Den’s footsteps in beginning to target the LGBTQ community at Pride festivals in their regions?
Mark Miller: We think that our participation at Pride events across the country present a great opportunity to deepen our relationship with the LGBTQ community. If we were unable to sell merchandise, we still would want to have a significant presence to show our support for the community. We believe that environments that allow for the exploration of erotica, in a safe and fun way, regardless of one’s sexual orientation, are fundamental and very necessary. Our goal is to use the already enacted and proposed changes as a tool to bring us all closer together. The fact that we, and other retailers, are able participate is a privilege.
Mark Miller: This year we’ve been featuring some of the following brands at our booths: DGA Apparel, Gay Pride Direct, PHS, Envy by Baci, Excite by Fantasy Lingerie, Leg Ave accessories and Pleaser Wigs. We are constantly trying to balance past experience with changing trends as we plan the inventory mix for our events. Many times we are reminded that it is mostly art, not science.
Andy Powell: Will there be any special guests or adult performers or even sex therapists on hand at any of the Lion’s Den booths this season?
Mark Miller: We don’t have anything planned at this time. In most cases, we have a very limited amount of space to present the items event attendees are looking for. We are always looking for ways to differentiate our brand though, so an appearance in the future is not out of the question.
Andy Powell: Adult sex toy manufacturers have been targeting more and more Gay men with their products specifically designed for Gay Men. Do you see this market expanding even more by the end of 2015?
Mark Miller: The category has already expanded quite a bit over the past few years and shows no signs of slowing. Some of the lines that we’ve had luck with include: Optimale by Doc Johnson, Colt by Cal Exotics, Renegade by NS Novelties, Perfect Fit and Oxballs. We continue to look for the best values at all price levels, while always trying to provide the highest quality within all price ranges.
Andy Powell: Mens Lingerie and Swimwear have seen serious expansion in adult boutiques over the past two years. Do you see Lion’s Den increasing its inventory into these markets both for the company’s online store and its brick & mortar outlets nationwide for Gay Men?
Mark Miller: We’ve increased our Men’s lingerie (mostly men’s underwear) by nearly 35% since 2013. We’ve added a fairly wide range of styles and brands including: Jack Adams, Junk Underjeans, Male Power, Envy by Baci, Excite by Fantasy Lingerie. This is an important category to the Lion’s Den and we will continue to build upon it.
Andy Powell: I personally am awaiting our own PRIDE Festival here in Las Vegas which of course will be represented by the fresh new Lion’s Den Adult Superstore located at 2923 S Industrial Rd….Can you fill us in on what surprises you might have in store for our sleazy, slutty and lovable Las Vegas Locals such as myself and my fellow staff members here on JRL?
Mark MIller: Jeff and his staff at the Lion’s Den Las Vegas will have the best selection of fun and sexy novelties and apparel available. We look forward to seeing you there!
Andy Powell: Mark thanks a bunch for taking out the time in your busy schedule to chat with us here on JRL CHARTS and for being a major part of the 2015 Gay Pride Season here in the USA.
Mark Miller: My pleasure. Many thanks to all of you at JRL Charts for the opportunity to chat!
Andy Powell: You are always welcome Mark to JRL CHARTS.
JRL CHARTS fans there you go, one of the giants in the Adult Entertainment Retail marketplace in his own words. Make sure to review the tour dates for the Gay Pride Season that Lion’s Den will be a part of:
* St. Louis Pride Festival on 6/26
* Nashville Pride Festival on 6/26
* Flint Pride in the Park on 6/27
* Green Bay Pride Alive on 7/11
* Rochester, MN Pride Festival on 7/16
* Cedar Valley Pride Festival on 8/22
* Lansing. MI Pride on 8/29
* Las Vegas Pride on 9/18
* Atlanta Pride Festival on 10/10
For more information on the Lion’s Den Adult Superstores or to find a location in your neighborhood, CLICK HERE.
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