V Spot Shangai

By on January 11, 2018
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First off, a bit of introduction—the V Spot is one of the very few (if not the only) women-founded, women-friendly, sex/body-positive adult toy shop in China. As our goal is to change the perception that sex is shameful in China, our retail concept is a unique blend of toy shop, wine bar, and dance & event space. And I think we created such a unique concept because our entire team are all novice to the adult retail industry bound together by the passion to make sex more positive in China. So we didn’t bring in industry know how, but we are bringing in other expertise. For example, I worked for Nike before starting the V Spot, so my vision for the shop is to make it a cool brand and excellent experience center for consumers. I’m not thinking too much about the financials and profitability. And I think consumers can feel the difference. They see that our store is different, and they are excited about it. They tell their friends about our store, and that is not easy to achieve.

What are your store trading hours/days?
We are open from 11am-11pm every day. My life is devoted to two things—working, and walking my dog.

What do you love most about your adult retail business?
I love seeing the smiles on customers’ faces. Many people tell us that they are so glad there’s finally a good, classy place to shop for toys in China. I think people are happy to be validated that sex is something good and positive, not shady and shameful, when they come in here. They are also excited by the variety of toys, many of which they have never used. Women, in particular, feel empowered by a store that speaks to them and gives them a voice that their pleasure matters.

What size are your stores and can you describe the fit out?
The store is 200sqm. The front area is a toy store. Walk beyond the display shelves and you will find a wine bar. In the back is a pole dance studio. The concept for the space is “Sex and Art are the same thing.” The idea is to encourage people to look at sex in a new way, and also to make sex more approachable. So overall the shop looks more like an art gallery with a lot of bright light from windows and open space.”

Does your business target a specific customer demographic?
Our customers tend to be young women, couples, and LGBT community. They are the ones who have been underserved in this market, and looking for a channel to express their sexuality.
What are some of your best-selling brands?
Chinese consumers are looking for functionality. So the toys that sell well are ones that have new technology, new functionalities.

What variables can ‘make’ or ‘break’ a product in a store?
Proper display, visuals, information about the product.

How do you create awareness for your store(s).
China is one of the most digital markets in the world these days. Most people are very dialed in on their mobiles, and social media is more powerful here than anywhere else. So we have a WeChat account that we use to stay connected with our customers. And that’s a full time job in itself, as WeChat requires not just pictures (like Insta) and quick updates (like Facebook), but full articles and content. So it’s almost like running a weekly magazine in addition to a store…

How do you view the trend toward online shopping and the changing role of the physical shops?
The reality in China is that most of the sales is already online. Some people even asked me why we bother with a physical store. But we wanted a brick and mortar store because we wanted to have an experience center where people can come to look and touch the products before they buy. So we’re trying to make the store a fun place, instead of a place where we are driving sales.

What advice could you give someone intending to start in adult retail today?
I think I’d welcome advice from veterans, but I’m too new to be offering advice.

www.thevspotchina.com

A Synergy Magazine interview with V Spot owner Ying Wong.

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