Q&A with John Gaik, co-owner
Number of stores: 4
Flagship location: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Square footage: 3,000
Year opened: 2005
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
John: Our stores are upscale, well-lit, boutique-style designs featuring top-quality lingerie, dresses, clubwear, massage oils, lotions and lubes. We pride ourselves on our low prices and top quality. We carry costumes and a full line of hosiery. We carry games for couples, bachelorette party items, the complete Liberator furniture line, sexy shoes and sexy menswear. We feature high-quality adult novelties and a wide assortment of DVDs starting as low as 3 for $10 with the latest popular features. Because we cater to couples, all our locations are merchandised and staffed by knowledgeable women.
Ted: What makes your store special?
John: Quality, price and customer service. We carry top designer brands, but yet we typically price our items below MSRP, so our customers appreciate the cutting edge fashions, with-out breaking the bank. Even our top-end adult novelties are priced below competition. Our stores are very classy and comfortable. You will never find a video booth or a guy in a trench coat in our stores — they are simply not our customer. We design our stores to be comfortable for women and couples. We have beautiful wood laminate floors, tasteful décor and some of our locations have chandeliers.
Ted: What brands are important to your store?
John: We feature what I believe to be some of the best brands in the business. In lingerie, our featured brand is Shirley of Hollywood. We also carry Dreamgirl, Escante, Baci, Leg Avenue, Monnamel Designer Dresses, Coquette, Forplay, BodyZone, Ellie Shoes, Magic Silk and Escante. In novelties, we carry the best as well: We-Vibe, Lelo, Jimmy Jane, Extase, JeJoue, Tanga, Liberator, and of course Doc Johnson, California Exotic Novelties, Topco and Pipedream Products. We also just brought in a top-quality line of whips and accessories from a top leather manufacturer called Dragontailz. In lotions, lubes and massage products we carry Kama Sutra, Wet, Swiss Navy, Sliquid and Uberlube. We just brought in the newest hot line in sexy cosmetics called Booty Parlor. The quality is great and cutting-edge compared to other brands.
Ted: Describe popular styles or trends in your store.
John: The trend seems to go more and more towards quality. We sell more top-end bustiers than less expensive babydolls. We’ve seen an increase in the sale of higher-end, better-quality products, such as the Lelo line of rechargeable toys. Our customers are much smarter with their money, opting for higher-quality products with warranties than the less expensive toys with fewer features. We do extremely well with unique lines such as Sexxy Brazil. We only bring in one of their outfits per store, so it promises no one else in our market will have it. Same with Monnamel Dresses. I bring in just one design of a dress in each size and never reorder the exact same piece, so our customers love the fact they always see new merchandise in our stores.
Ted: Describe your size range.
John: We carry petite to full-figure lingerie, clubwear, hosiery, bodystockings, undergarments, dresses, garters and costumes.
Ted: What is your average customer size?
John: It varies. Most couples are every size and shape, and we hope to provide everything they need at Badd Kitty.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit to your store?
John: I’m proud to say our average transaction is higher than most. I’ve been in the business for a while now, and I know what the average tickets are from some of my competition. I’m proud to say we average $8 to $10 higher than a similar-type retailer. I cannot speak for every similar business, but the ones I do have the information from, or past experience with — we fare higher.
Ted: Describe your customer base.
John: Couples, male and female. When shopping alone, females outnumber males three to one — a fact we are very proud of. We also have a Ladies Night every Monday in all our stores. From 6 to 9 p.m. each Monday, ladies receive a 10 percent discount, free samples and free champagne. We of course do have single male customers, but even most of them are looking for something to buy for her.
Ted: What other information do you wish to provide?
John: We pride ourselves on great products, great value and great service. At Badd Kitty, our female staff members are well-trained and knowledgeable, enabling them to sell our products because they can honestly explain the features and benefits. Our apparel line is always changing, a fact we pride ourselves on. You may always be able to buy basic hosiery at Badd Kitty, but fashion changes constantly. We are always upgrading not only fashion, but other categories as well. You will always find the latest high-end products, lotions, lubes and
novelties from the best manufactures. We also care a great deal about the communities we are in. We do several charity events a year, supporting research for children’s autism and breast cancer as well as fundraisers for veterans. We run a huge annual golf tournament with a local Myrtle Beach radio station that generates thousands of dollars for charity. We often sponsor bike runs and even lingerie fashion shows where all proceeds benefit local charities.