AVN.COM RETAILING PROFILE - Amazing Superstores Keeps Metro, Others on Inside Track in Northeast

Based in the smallest state in the country, Metro Studios opened its first adult store back in 1969 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island for a really simple reason. The adult company just wanted somewhere in the state to be able to sell its product.

“It was met with legal challenges and resistance because back then, all stores that sold porn were known as the dirty bookstore,” Operations Director Bill Tucker told AVN of the time.

The store still stands at that location, however, the company continually grew and built new locations throughout New England as the demand for adult product a consumer could take home instead of just watch in a darkened theater grew. The company currently has 44 stores, the majority of which are located in New England, with one of those stores operating as a franchisee. Amazing stores are branded as either a Superstore, which have an average footprint of 4,000 square feet or more, or an Amazing Express, which are generally between 1,800 and 3,500 square feet.

The company’s first Amazing Superstore, located on Thurbers Avenue in Providence, was designed by the same design team that designed Bloomingdale’s department stores in Massachusetts to impress local consumers and especially to bring women and couples into the store.

“We market to women because women are entitled to as much opportunity to enhance and excite their lives as men. Therefore, the intelligent retailer knows how to buy and cater to the female wish,” Tucker sagely explained. All of the stores place a priority on novelties; about 50 percent of floor space is utilized for toys. According to Tucker, many variations of the jack rabbit vibe, an especially popular toy, are regularly restocked.

With a stock that consists of 80 percent DVD to 20 percent VHS, the store naturally carries quite a bit of Metro product but Amazing “buys from all of the top quality production studios,” Tucker hastened to mention. Red Light District’s 1 Night in Paris is flying out of all of the company’s stores while New Sensations’ My Plaything Tera Patrick and My Plaything Jenna Jameson 2: It’s A Boy along with Digital Playground’s Virtual Sex With Teri Weigel and Metro’s own Les Vampyres and Taboo 2001 are consistent best-sellers. The company also has does very well with gonzo titles.

The stores often bring in porn stars for signing events (“It helps people realize that the business involves people and is not just a process,” Tucker says of the value of the events) and contribute regularly to local community charities.

“You have to make the effort to commit to grow and we have, and will continue to do just that. … We just try to make it as pleasurable as possible so that our customers can realize that adult entertainment is a fun and good thing to have in their lives, and, as a result, we’ve enticed a customer base that no one has ever enticed before in New England. We have tremendous repeat business, and that’s something we are really proud of,” Tucker said.

The company is expanding its retail operations constantly and, at press time, were planning to open at least two more stores in New England and at least three stores in Florida by year end.

Amazing Superstores has locations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. The company’s headquarters are located at 1 Metro Park Drive in Cranston, Rhode Island 02910. Contact via phone: 401.461.2200, fax at 401.941.3798 via their Website, amazing.net.