(Note: This story appears in the June issue of STOREROTICA Magazine)

Because there wasn’t a single retailer, distributor, or manufacturer untouched by the effects of COVID-19 — either directly or indirectly — the following pages highlight goodwill efforts by the industry during these turbulent times.

Nalpac’s F*ck Covid19 campaign features multitude of manufacturers

Nalpac has partnered with various manufacturers for promotional giveaways during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nalpac’s F*ck Covid19 Campaign is running for more than 12 weeks and is featuring a different manufacturer and promotions each week. Each week participating manufacturers are offing various deals in combination with orders. Nalpac is also making a big social media push during the F*ck Covid19 promotion with original content and extra giveaways to keep people engaged and excited about starting to reopen their stores and businesses.

Promotional partners at the time of publication included CalExotics, WOW Tech, System Jo and Evolved Novelties.

The week with CalExotics, Nalpac ran a ‘Giveaway for Days’ trivia giveaway with a prize daily from CalExotics. Nalpac also had a special promotion going through June 4. Any customer who spends the designated amount was eligible to win a CalExotics gift basket at the end of the promo.

During week two of the F*ck Covid19 Campaign, Nalpac and Wow Tech teamed up to offer social media giveaways, webinars, and more from Wow Tech brands We-Vibe and ROMP. There was also a spending promotion through June 11 where any customer who spends the designated amount will be eligible to win a $100 UberEats gift card at the end of the promotion. WOW Tech’s newest addition ROMP products are semi-exclusive to Nalpac and are carefully designed to meet the highest standards, all while retaining a fun, fresh vibe. Add color to sex with nine new SKUs from ROMP, including Shine, Switch, Free, Jazz, Hype, Flip, Beat, Juke, and Wave.

Week three of the F*ck Covid19 Campaign saw Nalpac and System JO run a spending promotion through June 18. Any customer that spends the designated amount on JO CBD Infused Lube receives one case of travel-size foaming toy cleaner.

Nalpac customers with questions about the F*ck Covid19 Campaign can contact their Nalpac sales representative.

“We could not be more pleased with the positive response we have received so far from Nalpac’s F*ck Covid19 Campaign,” said Amy Lazzara, Nalpac creative director.

For more information, visit Nalpac.com.

Eye of Love donates masks to FL hospitals and emergency rooms

Eye of Love team members dropped off KN95 masks to ASAP Urgent Care and Family Medicine in Tavernier, Florida and surgical masks to Islamorada Medical Center. Eye of Love has many more masks in transit and ready to give to those in need.

“During these times it’s especially important to take care of our communities and give back in any way we can. We are continuing our mission of spreading love around the globe,” said Eye of Love VP Jacqui Rubinoff.

For more information, visit Eyeoflove.com.

Xgen Products ships PPE

Xgen Products, wanting their customer partners to be safe as they began to re-open their stores, started stocking and shipping multiple types of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Almost all of our customer partners have been affected by COVID-19 in some way,” said Andy Green, president of Xgen Products. “Now that stores are beginning to open back up, we wanted to make sure their employees and in-store customers are protected.”

The PPE that is available from Xgen includes masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer is available in 1.5- and 3-ounce tubes, and an 8-ounce pump bottle. The tubes contain 75% Isopropyl Alcohol, and the pump bottle contains 62% Ethyl Alcohol, making both effective on germs and bacteria, including Coronavirus.

The gloves, available in two sizes, are made from nitrile, an allergy safe compound that feels a lot like latex but it’s much stronger, costs less, and is more comfortable to wear. Xgen has also brought in two types of masks, the standard disposable 3-ply face masks, and the KN95 protective masks.

“As we’ve seen in grocery stores and online, coming by PPE can be tough,” added Green. “Our customers can count on Xgen to provide all the PPE they may need as we all go through this together.”

In order to be as safe as possible and cut down on contact in their warehouse, customers interested in PPE from Xgen will be asked to purchase the items by the box or carton.

For more information, visit Xgenb2b.com.

Jimmyjane sources, donates 2,100 PPE face shields to LA hospitals

Dr. Kim Dang, founder and president of the American University of Health Sciences Foundation.

Jimmyjane has been working hard to help its community fight COVID-19 and has sourced and donated 2,100 face shields to Los Angeles-area hospitals in need. On the final day of Nurse Appreciation Week (May 12), the company encouraged other adult brands to work their connections with health product suppliers to get hard-to-find and much-needed PPE in the hands of frontline workers.

With robust manufacturing connections thanks to the brand’s 16 years in the industry, Jimmyjane successfully leveraged relationships to source hard-to-get face shields, essential for protecting healthcare workers in their fight to save lives. The company air-freighted the 2,100-strong supply direct to their Southern California warehouse and distributed them to two key facilities to ensure they were available to first responders at the height of this crisis.

One thousand units went direct to Good Samaritan Hospital near downtown Los Angeles, and 1,100 were donated to the American University of Health Sciences Foundation (AUHS) for distribution to hospitals in Los Angeles County.

“We are so grateful for this contribution; face shields are a vital form of protection and much-needed in our facility,” said Ben Musser, Assistant Medical Director at Good Samaritan Hospital. “During this trying time, and when safety supplies are so hard to come by, we greatly appreciate the efforts of companies like Jimmyjane who are willing to invest time, energy, and funds in getting our frontline healthcare workers the supplies they need.”

“Contributions like this are keeping us safe in these unprecedented times and we are so thankful to the Jimmyjane team for their efforts,” said Dr. Kim Dang, Founder and President of the American University of Health Sciences Foundation. “These valuable face shields will be distributed to hospitals within the Emanate Health System in Los Angeles County and help provide protection and support to hard-working essential healthcare workers.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety supplies have been hard to come by – especially for front-line medical personnel – and Jimmyjane was pleased to help ease some of that burden.

“We are thrilled to be able to use our vast resources to support our community by donating face shields to hospitals in need to help keep their healthcare workers safe,” Jimmyjane vice president of people Tami Aguilar said. “In the face of this pandemic, doctors, nurses, and support staff are true heroes and deserve access to PPE. We are grateful for the opportunity to help.”

For more information, visit Jimmyjane.com.

SexToyDistributing.com ships US-made hand sanitizer

SexToyDistributing.com is shipping CleanStream Maximum Strength Sanitizer, a 70% alcohol sanitizer reported to kill more than 99.99 percent of most common germs that cause illness.

Each 8 oz bottle of CleanStream Maximum Strength Sanitizer is made in the US and, with its powerful sanitizing formula, is suitable for use as a hand sanitizer and a toy cleaner.

“We know how hard it has been for folks to consistently find and purchase hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic,” SexToyDistributing.com wholesale supervisor Brenda Reynoso said. “We are thrilled to be able to help and support retailers who are observing sanitization protocols while maintaining online businesses! This is an unprecedented and uncertain time, and though our customers typically rely on us for pleasure products, Sex Toy Distributing works hard to stock complementary and other important items — hand sanitizer, gloves, and toy cleaners included — that are necessary to keep us safe.”

CleanStream sanitizer is manufactured by XR Brands and comes in cases of 24 8 oz bottles.

For more information, visit Sextoydistributing.com.

EDSE brings 25-hour sex educator certification online

Educational organization Everyone Deserves Sex Ed (EDSE) announced an online version of its renowned 25-hour sex educator certification, scheduled July 11-12 and 18-19, via Zoom. The training is open to adult industry members and sexuality professionals looking for valuable professional development from the comfort and safety of home.

Founded and created by industry veteran Anne Hodder-Shipp, EDSE’s certification provides a foundational understanding of human sexuality — including anatomy, gender, and safer sex – in order to transform the way that professionals think about their businesses. Whether working in product design and development, sales and customer service, or content production and performance, attendees are given access to the tools and information necessary to stand out from the competition with an informed, inclusive, and sex-positive perspective.

“Because social distancing protocols will be in place for the remainder of the year, I knew it was time to create an online version of this training and I’m so excited to make it official!” Hodder-Shipp said. “Information is empowerment and I want industry professionals to have digital access to the kind of tools and information they need to feel comfortable and confident in their careers – especially during this uncertain time. The EDSE certification not only helps inform and educate, but also gives adult companies a way to differentiate themselves in this competitive industry.”

EDSE’s mission is to make accurate, unbiased, and LBGTQIA+ inclusive sexuality information available to as many communities as possible. With more than a decade of experience working within the adult industry, Hodder-Shipp recognized a need for this kind of sex education training and sought out to develop a program that would help staff have more informed, inclusive, and confident conversations about sex.

“We hear the term sexual wellness so often in our industry and it was nice to finally put a face to that name,” said Lions Den buyer Danny Gibson. “Our customers continue to grow and have become so knowledgeable, and it’s important to stay ahead of that so we can continue to guide them along their journeys. I’m so thankful for the EDSE experience and glad I could take part in it!”

Ideal for adult industry professionals, the EDSE certification prepares attendees to have informed, inclusive and confident conversations about sex. Over the course of two weekends, EDSE attendees learn key information about human sexuality, intimate health, consent, and communication skills and be trained to respond to sex-related questions in a concise and nonjudgmental manner. Attendees also leave with new insight into their own sexuality — a fun side effect of sex education training.

“Walking in, I thought I knew my fair share, but Anne and her speakers opened my eyes to a lot – from being cognizant of my own judgments to how to be a better advocate for my fellow human beings,” said Kerin De Francis, director of sales at Doc Johnson. “I think parents, teachers, just about anyone in any kind of authoritative position could really benefit from working with EDSE.”

For more information, visit everyonedeservessexed.com.

Williams Trading Co. offers reopening checklist and guide

Following a number of adult retail store shutdowns across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams Trading Co. offered retailers helpful guidelines for reopening their business as restrictions begin to lift. Along with a checklist from the National Federation of Retailers, Williams Trading also offered a quick list of helpful procedures, links, and a quick industry-related course on Williams Trading University that pinpoints helpful tips for adult retailers in keeping their stores, employees, and consumers safe.

“As retailers begin to slowly open, the NRF has developed operational guidance and considerations for opening stores developed by leaders convened by the NRF. Williams Trading has also supplemented these guidelines with specific operating suggestions specific to the adult industry retail sector. Additionally, we are providing a Williams Trading University course called COVID-19: A Retailers guide, which is available for all retailers,” says Scott D, director of marketing and sales at Williams Trading Co.

The Operation Door Checklist from the National Retail Federation represents guidance from members and subject matter experts, and is intended to highlight key topics to consider as retailers seek to re-open operations. Your individual facts and circumstances will be unique, and we encourage you to work with your preferred legal and financial advisors to adapt this guidance to your specific situation.

Unlike other WTU courses, the COVID-19 course is not a training course. Instead, COVID-19: A Retailer’s Guide is meant to help store owners and employees keep their stores up and running during this time, with helpful store cleaning tips, CDC reference sheets, and signage that can be printed out and used as reminders.

Adult store recommendations from WTC:

Replacement of testers section

Install barriers at registers

Social distancing for employees

Adjust store hours of operation, as necessary, to support social distancing efforts by limiting store traffic.

Ensure staff has sufficient time to rest, sanitize, and restock inventory.

Consider offering seniors and other high-risk individuals exclusive early hours.

Consider increasing pickup hours to serve more online customers.

Offer masks for all consumers shopping

Consider suspending or modifying return and exchange policies

Disclaimer: The subject matter contained within this course has been prepared using resources found on the NRF (National Retail Federation) CDC and the EPA’s websites. All of the material, including images and reference sheets, are for informational purposes only. All content herein is provided on an “as-is” basis. Williams Trading Co nor its affiliates or assigns assumes no liability and no warranties are implied. For more information, visit Williamstradingco.com.

Five ways Lovehoney is providing support to retailers

Lovehoney prides themselves as being the sexual happiness people and have always committed to supporting their retailers by providing a quality service and access to beneficial assets.

To ensure retailers are making the most of the service provided during this crisis, Jade Bawa, sales executive at Lovehoney B2B shared five ways the team has provided support during these difficult times.

The services provided were designed to in turn create a positive shopping experience for the customer, leading to an increase in sales.

1) Making use of the Lovehoney dedicated B2B website where you can easily download high-quality product images, video content, web banners, social media-friendly images, and GIFs for your own website and social media pages.

Eye-catching visual content is one of the best ways to draw customers in and achieve the best results for your brand. Not only will consistently adding new content to your website and social media improve your search engine rankings, but your website will appear more personable and trust-worthy. This will make a better impact on customers as humans are, after all, visual creatures.

Additionally, if there is any hesitation in making a purchase or a lack of understanding about the quality of a product, then high-resolution imagery and video content can be just as effective as handling the product in person.

2) Requesting product samples for your own sales video content.

Whether you are making a short 30-second clip tailored for social media or longer content explaining product features, videos are a fundamental way to increase relate-ability and trust with customers.

Speak directly to your customers by putting your own unique stamp on a video. Every brand has its own identity and visuals are a great way to help set you apart from competitors and demonstrate the personality of your brand while highlighting the product features.

3) Utilizing the Lovehoney branded point of sale material available to create the perfect display.

Using the point of sale at hand will help to effectively deliver marketing messages and create a lasting impression when customers visit your shop. Whether you are trying to create an eye-catching display, highlight new products or encourage impulse buys, making use of Lovehoney’s high-quality point of sale material will help you to achieve this.

4) Consider giving away gifts with purchase items.

Gifts are a great way to make a customer feel valued and subsequently leave them wanting to shop with you again. Even if the gift is small, it can still go a long way in improving customer satisfaction and creating a positive experience.

5) Take advantage of online training with representatives.

Product knowledge is key to gaining the customer’s trust. Ensuring your workforce are knowledgeable and confident in what they’re selling is the first step to great sales.

You can increase your understanding of the Lovehoney brand values and products by taking advantage of online training sessions with their representatives. Training sessions will help you to create better experiences for your customers, as you will be able to effectively communicate product features and turn these into benefits when they engage with you.

Lovehoney B2B can also provide staff sample review programs so that you are able to handle products in person, providing a greater understanding of features. They can also supply detailed sales sheets that are perfect for adding to your telephone sales scripts.

For more information, visit Lovehoney.com.