Owner of Allure Sensuality Emporium Sari Cohen said couples were locked together at home and want to take the opportunity to explore, they couldn’t spend money on going out so they had disposable cash to invest in pleasure. File picture: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
Owner of Allure Sensuality Emporium Sari Cohen said couples were locked together at home and want to take the opportunity to explore, they couldn’t spend money on going out so they had disposable cash to invest in pleasure. File picture: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Sex toy industry in SA sees rise in sales over lockdown

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Aug 28, 2021

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Cape Town - While a lot of industries have suffered during lockdown the sex toy industry has seen a rise in sales.

Owner of Allure Sensuality Emporium Sari Cohen said at the beginning of lockdown level 5 when non-essential shops and non-essential e-commerce couldn’t operate due to restrictions on the courier, they took a knock like all other retailers.

However, she said they started getting a lot of inquiries from first-time buyers who wanted to learn more. Cohen said when the restrictions were lifted they hit ground running and customers had different reasons for buying during lockdown.

She said couples were locked together at home and want to take the opportunity to explore, they couldn’t spend money on going out so they had disposable cash to invest in pleasure, some people got stuck away from their sexual partners and needed ways to pleasure themselves.

Cohen said it became impossible and dangerous due to the pandemic to find occasional sexual partners so clients got sex toys for self pleasure and people are working from home and have very little social interaction they have more time for sex.

“I think in general we saw positive approach and more curiosity toward sex toys and understanding of pleasure and sexual needs,” added Cohen.

Brodie Meyer from Desir said Covid-19 saw e-commerce follow an unpredictable sales pattern compared to recent years, making forecasting and sales planning increasingly challenging.

Meyer said while the period of the actual lockdown in March/April 2020 saw a complete halt in sales, what followed was a surge in e-commerce traffic and an overnight change to shopping behaviour.

“As time moved on and with working at home becoming a new norm, we have seen a rapid increase in couples's purchases,” said Meyer.

Nicole Paul of La Lush said since the restriction on e-commerce was lifted in May 2020 they have seen an increase in their online sales, and it seems that customers are getting more comfortable with doing online shopping.

George Masche of Passion Fruit said curfew and lockdown resulted in a lot of bedroom activity.

“I guess we are one of the few lucky industries that saw an increase in business during the pandemic but on the flip side we also have some new challenges to deal with like for example major international shipping backlogs or unpredictable fluctuation of currency,” he said.

Adult World in Bellville. BRENDAN MAGAAR African News Agency (ANA)

However, operations manager at Adult World said lockdown has affected them negatively because they had to close their stores and couldn’t promote their products online because they couldn’t get the product to the client since their staff was at home.

He said they can still feel the effects of lockdown because most households have lost income which means they are not buying anymore.

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