The British sex toy specialist Lovehoney plans to expand its international operations. Following the investment of Telemos Capital, a company associated with the Jacobs family, the brand’s worldwide presence will be strengthened.
In 2017, the sex toy retailer Lovehoney, founded in 2002, achieved sales of 100 million pounds. This means that the Bath-based company has grown by 30% in the last three years. A considerable success in an increasingly competitive industry. This year, the investment company of the Jacobs family, whose coffee and part-time work agency have turned them into billionaires, bought into Lovehoney. The founders Richard Longhurst and Neal Slatefort, however, are still at the head of their company and now want to expand further. Telemos Capital is expected to help, assisted by the macro trend of the still growing sex toy market. It is estimated that the industry will grow to an annual sales volume of 22 billion pounds by 2020.
In 2016, the company won the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade, a sign of the industry’s increasing social acceptance. This, along with the growing price tolerance for more profitable, more expensive products, is also one of the macro trends that speaks in favor of investing in the industry.
In an interview with the British newspaper Express, Richard Longhurst says: »Online retail is at an interesting point and the sexual well-being market is changing, coming out from under the radar. We needed more expertise and investment to seize the opportunities emerging. Our strategy is to go for places offering the biggest wins. With Lovehoney customers are not thrown in the deep end as might happen if they buy from a marketplace. Although 60 per cent are in the UK, we do sell globally and this investment will enable us to specify preferences and customize what we offer according to country, colors say or particular products.«Many of Lovehoney’s existing customers are couples. According to the company, 75% of female customers are in long-term relationships. Now Lovehoney wants to expand its customer base and address new demographic groups. One of the major advantages of the company’s development so far is that the number of returns is declining sharply. This is a considerable relief, as returns are a huge cost factor for most online retailers, which can completely ruin the balance sheets of companies that invest heavily in marketing, in particular, and discourage potential investors from making necessary investments.
Lovehoney therefore wants to expand its digital strategy, and plans to build a chain of stores have been put on hold for the time being. While the product catalog will certainly continue to grow, Lovehoney does not want to start costly adventures with technologies that are not yet fully developed. When the Express asked whether Lovehoney is considering entering the sex-robot market, Longhurst made it clear: »We are about human interactions. At Lovehoney we excel at doing the best versions of a product, be that easier to use, quieter, whatever. Our aim is strong, direct stimulation the creative way.« That’s probably what you call a distinguished British no.
To find out more about the company, click here.