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“Stores are now much more soft-goods predominant in appearance and feel, with storefronts up to 80 percent dedicated to lingerie, bachelor/ bachelorette games, educational material, lubes and lotions.” — DAVID KEEGAN GENERAL MANAGER. ADAM & EVE FRANCHISE DIVISION associate with being in poor taste even if you are a boutique-size retailer,” Joiner asserted. “Having multiple locations can be strategic, yet I think there is a point as well that it turns gaudy.” Megan Swartz, general manager and buyer for Déjà Vu Love Boutique, noted that as brick-and-mortar adult stores continue to evolve in 2016, an emphasis on sexual health will be one of their top priorities. This year, Swartz told XBIZ, brick-and-mortar stores will “need to continue staff education through programs offered on sexual health and well-being.” According to Swartz, the brick-and-mortar adult stores of 2016 also “need to improve merchandising tactics in order to present upscale adult retail, which is moving away from the seedy, dark feel and leaning more toward the boutique appeal.” And with that boutique-style environment, Swartz said, comes “the need to tailor stores to entertainers and young adults, embracing the trend of decreasing taboos surrounding these products and (showing) that they are fun and not simply for the older consumer.” Adult stores, Swartz asserted, must also “liquidate lower quality stock in order to devote adequate space and displays for high-end products, which are increasing in popularity and crossing into the general consumer market.” In 2016, Swartz added, mastering social media is essential for brick- and-mortar adult stores if they want to reach younger consumers. Stores, according to Swartz, “need to increase their presence on social media, as most Millennials use smart devices and provide the majority of shoppers.” In the adult billing space, there has been much discussion of the effect that the implementation of EMV or chip-and-PIN technology for credit cards in the United States will have on adult entertainment sales. Adult billing experts have been warn- ing that when EMV cards discourage credit card fraud for in-person transactions, criminals will likely increase their online fraud — and for U.S.-based adult retailers, that could mean less fraud in their brick-and-mortar stores but more problems with fraud when selling online. Swartz advised that for in-store transactions, brick-and-mortar stores need to be “EMV-compliant with credit card processing to prevent charge- backs and fraudulent purchases.” Swartz noted that in 2016, brick- and-mortar stores should be “not so much focusing on cisgender.” Swartz explained: “While DVD sales continue to decrease — implying a decrease in male business — adult products of all varieties are used by all types of people.” X FEBRUARY 2016  XBIZ PREMIERE   57