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April 2013, XBIZ - Liberator Brings New Releases and Retail Initiatives

Liberator, Inc., manufacturer of sex furniture and lovemaking accessories, has jump-started the new year with new releases, a celebrity partnership and new plans to enhance the retail experience for adult store shoppers.

Michael Kane, executive vice president of Liberator, also started 2013 with participation at the XBIZ 360° Retail Conference. While opining on the future of the adult retail market, Kane said having stores that are much more interactive where customers can experience the products through new technology are a must for the coming years. In-store iPads for customers to see demos and place orders, and mobile apps that interact with products are on the near horizon, he said.

Kane also noted that this type of customer interaction is essential and that his company has designated play space areas “that look like Bloomingdales”where customers will spend hours trying products.” Kane also noted the need to reach out to the urban market that is increasing its spending power.

On Jan. 16, Liberator presented its latest edition of in-store product displays to launch in-store Liberator Boutiques. Coinciding with a luxury redesign of its core product packaging, Liberator Boutiques now instantly transforms retail space into an erotic landscape, the company said.

Using Liberator’s newest additions to its Home Collection, Liberator Boutiques feature the Orbit or Echo rocking bedor both-as well as additional standalone shelving to showcase Liberator products.

Beds and shelving can be mixed-and-matched to best suit each individual store’s needs. The new additions to the Liberator Home Collection, the Orbit and Echo, will serve as a centerpiece for shops and provide ample space to display Liberator Shapes outside of the box.

The Orbit and Echo beds are now available for purchase online and at select retailers.

“Of the two beds the Orbit makes the largest first impression,” the company said. “The brushed carbon steel frame rises to the heavens in a modern interpretation of the four poster bed. Its oversized frame also allows for full-motion rocking of the entire unit. Rocking motions have been proven in studies to provide higher quality sleep and sleep patterns. Not to mention the effects the momentum can have on your love life. Enhanced thrusting anyone?”

The Echo features a carbon steel frame and rocks to a degree, and also gives and bounces at will.

Both are made from reclaimed wood and recycled carbon steel. Each has its own unique character from the materials making no bed like another. They also come with rubber stops to keep the bed from moving all night or for it to be propped up at an angle.

“Orbit and Echo beds have also gone through the same rigorous testing as a park bench,” the company said. “What do we mean by that? We mean they’ve been salt-spray tested and are suitable for outdoor use. Think about having an Orbit out on the patio by the pool for those summer nights you never want The Echo and Orbit are now a part of Liberator’s new in-store boutiques. Beds can be purchased directly through retailers wishing to use the Orbit and Echo as store displays and dropshipped to customers.

The MSRP of the Orbit and Echo includes delivery. The MSRP for Orbit is $3,000 and the Echo is $1,750.

“With the introduction of our new packaging and beds, we wanted a more attractive way for retailers to be able to carry and display these products,” said Louis Friedman, CEO of Liberator, Inc.

“The new Orbit and Echo are conversation starters in their own right and adding Liberator Shapes on top just means there’s more to talk about. It’s also a great way to have people try the product before they buy.”

Liberator’s core products — the Ramp, Wedge and Combo — are currently available in the recently redesigned packaging that includes vacuum-compressed foam for smaller dimensions and less shelf space. Each box also features a carry-out handle on top of the box that conceals racy imagery by facing it downward.

The Orbit and Echo beds are available in full, queen and king size. Retailers have the option to drop-ship beds to alleviate stocking concerns.

Liberator also recently introduced its new Tallulah Toy Case in time for Valentine’s Day. The lockable case is a practical and stylish upgrade on the already popular Zomi bag the retailer has carried for years.

The new Tallulah Toy Case keeps pleasure objects and personal items secret, safe and secure. Crafted from lush, durable microsuede, the case is lined with ballistic nylon and features a faux leather trim while closing with a handsome, interlocking brass zipper and keyed lock. It’s also large enough (13" × 7" × 7") to accommodate several other objects.

Product designers Melissa Coffey and Jason Bush consider the Tallulah the perfect combination of femininity and strength. “Even though we made it from the same vein of a very masculine item like a dopp kit and used very durable materials, it still has whimsy and an air of mystery, much like women,” Coffey said.

The Tallulah is available in six colors (Hunter, Black, Charcoal, Cinnabar, Fuchsia, Sage) with a $29.99 MSRP.

Rounding out January for Liberator was the brand’s partnership with “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” reality show star Stevie J.

Stevie J and Joseline Hernandez appeared at company’s booth during the AVN Novelty Expo 2013 Jan. 16–19 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Stevie J is building a brand and name in the adult market and we’re glad to be a part of it,” Kane said.

Stevie J rose to national prominence as a primary cast member on VH1’s reality show series “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” in June 2012 after years of working behind the scenes in the music industry as a Grammy-winning producer. Joseline Hernandez is a former exotic dancer and aspiring singer/rapper under the tutelage of Stevie J.

“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” was the most watched cable reality series over summer 2012 as well as the most social non-sports series. The series averaged 5 million viewers per episode through premieres and first encores.

Coming off two major weeks for the adult industry in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the mainstream media and news outlets upped their coverage on novelties and asked Liberator what they had to offer.

In the first report from Yahoo! News, Holly Bailey examined the immense and also over-documented effect E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” has had on the sex industry. Bailey’s look at the increase in sales from products mentioned in the book and its subsequent sequels amid an otherwise struggling economy includes a quote from Liberator Vice President of Sales Rick Lockett.

“Soft bondage is really hot right now,” said Lockett in the understatement of the new year.

CNBC took a different approach at adult toys citing the increased presence of novelties in retailers such as Wal-Mart and CVS. Chris Morris used Liberator as one of the examples in adult enhancement products that have broken-through from seedy to big box stores.

Morris also mentioned Liberator’s new packaging and shipping technology as a means for making it into even more stores in the future.