Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Local sex-shop chain Ambiance rubs its giant profits in our depressed faces

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 7:41 AM

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Lindsay doesn't mind if you can no longer afford Death Cab tickets.
Your average Clevelander lives in a house worth $12,000 and dropping, is stuck in a $500 Hummer lease, puts on a suit to sit in a park for eight hours a day so that his wife won’t know he’s been laid off, and is considering eating the family Golden Retriever. You’d think the double-sided dildo budget would be pretty much dissipated. But according to a regional sex-shop chain boasting of boom times, you’d be wrong. Ambiance, the sex boutique with seven locations in Northeast Ohio, is bragging that “sex sells in a slow economy.” Apparently May was a good month for the company, with sales up more than 20 percent from the same month last year, and its website numbers improved 44 percent. These are statistics sent to us from an Ambiance rep named Misty, though, so take them with a grain of salt. ... This is the second time, Ambiance claims, that it’s thrived in an American economic downturn. To the company, the reason why is simple: "People cut back on large expenses, like travel, and are staying home more,” President Jennifer Downey says in a release. “Ambiance provides an affordable and very enjoyable justification to stay home." In other words, for couples who can no longer spring for Playhouse tickets or dinner at Lola, the next logical step is to plop down $54.99 on something called the Inflatable Tilt Master. Ambiance also says it’s been a target for Ohioans spending their stimulus checks, as “many of our products [are] designed to drive sales in a slow economy,” not to mention stain the curtains in the living-room. And yes, they took advantage of the “stimulate” pun fully. – Gus Garcia-Roberts

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