Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Scott Humphris: Clonezone is the leading gay lifestyle store within the UK stocking everything from underwear to adult toys. Our flagship store is a recently refurbished state-of-the-art shopping destination in the heart of Soho, London’s west end district. It’s a design led and dynamic space spread over 2 floors, from brushed concrete floors to the high end sound system and everything in between all coming together to make it one truly memorable shopping experience. Some have described it as “cool” “slick” and even “juicy”. The Ground floor consists of men’s designer underwear, fashion and accessories along with a great selection of gifts, books, jewelry, greeting cards, lubes, condoms and aromas. Downstairs you will find Adult toys and novelties and a large selection of adult dvd’s. You will also find Clonezone’s own “Titus – Made for Men” range of adult novelty toys, leather and accessories.
Product groups include aromas, books, calendars, cards, clothing, swimwear, condoms, dvd’s, footwear, gifts, herbal highs, herbal enhancers, jewelry, leather goods, lubes, magazine, rubber goods, adult novelty toys and underwear.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Scott: Not only do we offer a unique shopping experience with our brand new state-of –the-art store but we also offers a wide range of exclusive products and brands that can’t be found anywhere else in the UK. Part of our strategy is to source and stock new and hard to find brands from around the world. We are a destination store where customers come to find everything from that something special and unique to their everyday items. Competitive pricing is also very important to us and is a major part of our strategy. We carry out price comparisons almost on a daily basis to ensure we are always offering our customers the best prices.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Scott: The most important factors in a Brand are Quality, Design and Brand Identity.
Core brands for us include:
ES Collection, Addicted, Titus – Made For Men, Timoteo, Pistol Pete, Bike, N2N Bodywear.
Ted: What are the latest trends?
Scott: The biggest trend in recent years would be the introduction of the “bottomless brief”. It’s a style of jock strap which has leg straps made from, and incorporated into, the same piece of material as the main body of the underwear. These now outsell all other styles of underwear by 10-1.
“Sexy/Kinky” is also a big seller, particularly mesh fabric underwear or clothing. Wrestling singlets have always been a big seller since their introduction a few years ago.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Scott: Price points are varied and range from a £9.99 ($15) jock strap to a £35 ($55) pair of ES underwear. The majority of underwear we stock is around the £20-£25 mark. ($30-40)
Our swimwear range is made up almost entirely of the bestselling range from ES collection. These are priced between £50-£80 ($80-$125). We carry sizes ranging from Small through Extra Large. Our average customer size is medium.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit to your store?
Scott: Our average customer spend in store is £30 ($48) and Online is £42 ($66)
Ted: Describe your customer.
Scott: Our customer base is made up almost entirely of gay men of all ages (18-99) with the majority age group being 25-34.
We do however sell products that are quite suitable for women and indeed some women do shop with us along with straight men and straight couples.
Ted: What else can you tell us about Clonezone?
Scott: Clonezone is the UK’s first and largest gay lifestyle retail company. The original Clonezone was founded over 30 years ago by four friends. As members of London’s burgeoning gay scene, they saw a gap in the market for gay lifestyle products. They started out by selling products out of a suitcase in clubs and grew from there. Ten years later the first Clonezone store opened up in Soho’s Old Compton Street and continued to trade until Jan 2013 when our newly refurbished state of the art flagship store was opened just across the road at 35 Old Compton Street. The store will always be evolving to suit our customers’ needs. For example Apple iPads have just been introduced on each level so that the customer can browse our entire product range and search for something in particular. They will also be able to order from this and have it delivered where ever they wish.
Along with our Flagship Soho store we have 3 other locations around the country, including Earls Court in West London, Birmingham and Manchester in the north. Our website is also leading in terms of design and functionality with thousands of products to choose from, which can be found at www.clonezone.co.uk We have also recently launched a German version too www.clonezone.de