Lovehoney believes its exclusive Fifty Shades of Grey licensing deal will open the door to sex toys being sold in mainstream retailers.
The sex toy etailer has won the licensing rights to produce Fifty Shades of Grey accessories everywhere outside of North and South America, with products going on sale from next week.
Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst is expecting its wholesale business Omora to receive a boost through mainstream retailers looking to capitalise on the popularity of the erotic novel, which has sold over 60 million copies worldwide.
High street retailers including Boots have previously sparked controversy by selling sex toys in-store.
However, Longhurst said there was a greater “trust” in the Fifty Shades brand name. He said: “It’s the biggest brand of the year. It’s a great door of opportunity to work with mainstream retailers. They’ve realised that their customers are comfortable with this, in particular in an environment in which they are happy shopping in.”
Lovehoney has been selling some of its products wholesale for some time and is a part of the business which has been “building quietly” for a few years, according to Longhurst. It rebranded the wholesale arm as Omora last month, in preparation of the Fifty Shades deal, to separate it from the retail operation.
Longhurst also believes its Lovehoney retail business will receive a boost as the Fifty Shades products give it a “point of difference”. Some products in the range, which is due to be delivered to the retailer next week, are already close to selling out on pre-order.
Products include the Twitchy Palm spanking paddle, priced at £24.99, and the Submit to Me bondage kit for £49.99.
Meanwhile, the distribution deal also opens the door to international markets for Lovehoney. The retailer, which already has a US site, has now acquired its domain name in Australia ahead of a launch there next year. It is also plotting the launch of its french and german sites next year. Overseas sales currently accounts for 5% to 10% of overall revenue.