1) Tell us about your business.
Back in Year 2000, topics about bedroom activities and adult toys were still taboo in Singapore, few would openly discussed their inadequacies or fantasies! We knew that there was a genuine need for adult toys to aid couples in achieving a better sex lives and improve their relationship. So, it was no longer a want but a need, and we wanted to be the instigator and be the trail-blazer!
We started a brick & mortar store at the heart of Orchard Road, a famous shopping strip in Singapore. We have carefully chosen to be off the street level, on the second floor, so as to provide maximum privacy for customers. Huge attention on street level does not necessary be good for customers who prefer no preying eyes. Our first store at Midpoint Orchard is also opposite the Somerset mass rapid train (MRT) station, and right in front of a bus-stop. It is a very convenient location, especially for tourists from South-East Asia.
2) What does a typical day look like?
A typical day at U4Ria starts off even before the door opens at 11am. We will start packing online orders (mainly came in the wee hours after midnight), housekeeping and replenishing stock. We get ready by reading up new products review, feedback. Whenever we have walk-in customers, that is when the fun starts, as we like to engage customers in small talks, find out about their problems, likes and dislikes, first-timer or experience customers.
3) What are a few of the key variables in order of importance to ensure the best chance of success in adult retail?
- Customer Service – Good customer service requires our staff to be knowledgeable about our range of products. Being patience, proactive and have a good listening ear are the essential ingredients of good customer service. Unlike online stores, retail staff can give advice and dispel doubts for walk-in customers.
- Wide range of products – We would like to think that we are just like the Walmart of adult toys. We have over 9000 products, from as low as S$16.00 for a simple one-speed vibrator to a few hundred dollars for a luxury vibrator. From the most ordinary adult novelty to the most outrageous BDSM toy.
- Dedicated and Motivated Staff – Having dedicated and motivated staff, will naturally translate to positive experience for customers, even for the most demanding customers.
- Good Support from Suppliers – Suppliers who have been giving us good support play a big part in our ability to give customers the latest play toys available.
4) What trends have you observed in your industry?
Moving towards interactive sex toys for couples who are far apart, harnessing the latest technology. Female customers are bolder now, asking more pertinent questions and willing to spend good money for a good piece. Many are willing to try mild BDSM products, fantasy costumes and sexy lingerie. LGBT community is also coming out of the closets and seek out pleasure products suitable to their needs. More mature customers are catching up with lost time and into the swing of adult toys too!
5) What are some things your business is especially proud of?
That we are ready and well placed to serve customers who are new to BDSM toys when the movie – Fifty Shades of Grey came to town. Even customers from Malaysia and Indonesia come to us for our huge selection! Be it Japanese Shibari or electrosex products!
6) What have been some of the best selling items of all time?
7) Are there any challenges operating such a business in Singapore?
Porn, nudity, videos, magazines are still not permitted.
8) What advice could you give someone intending to start in adult retail today?
Go get a job if you want to have – quality family time, TGIF, watch movies or go fishing or golfing on weekends, have a beer after 5pm, or go for a week long vacation. The short answer is: be prepared to give up lots and lots of leisure time. Which means working on weekends and public holidays. If you really want to start a business, buy over my business! LOL!
Disclaimer about my Relationship with U4Ria
Over the years, I have been approached many times by numerous online adult shops who wish to partner with me. I have stayed firm in my partnership with local adult lifestyle shop U4Ria – Adult Healthy Lifestyle because of their quality service. I have chosen to continue working with them because I believe that a physical shop where customers can see and feel products, as well as ask questions is important.
The retail market is a tough one in Singapore. I have not profited from this affiliation with U4Ria other than being provided sex toys to review occasionally. I do not actually benefit financially from featuring the above item. Please contact U4Ria directly.
Where is U4Ria?
Main Store: U4Ria @ #02-48 Peninsula Plaza S 179098 (near City Hall MRT), Tel: +(65) 63377 463. Call, whatsapp or sms hotline +(65) 98515156. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Biz hrs: Mon-Sat:11am-9pm, Sun & PH: 12pm-6pm. (Peninsula Plaza is the building which has Bata Shoe at the first level. Please do not go to the wrong building with the name – Peninsula Shopping centre)
Branch: U4Ria @ #02-11A Midpoint Orchard S238852 (opp. 313 @ Somerset; and in between Courts and Orchard Gateway @ Emerald) t: 6738 7198. Call, whatsapp or sms hotline: (+65) 82289339 for enquiry. Biz hrs: Mon-Sat: 11am – 9pm Sun & PH: 12 – 6pm