Premiere Sales Group: Laughing at Your Recession

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—When everyone else is crying into their vag-etable soup about rapidly declining returns in the adult industry, distributor Premiere Sales Group, which chalked off its 10th anniversary in October, is not only whistling merrily all the way to the bank, but celebrated the occasion by adding another 10,000 square feet to its already sprawling warehouse.

“Now we’re sitting in a 30,000-square-foot warehouse, and we carry everything that’s available in the market,” managing partner Keith Repult beamed to AVN. “We had the close of two or three distributors last year, which led to our growth, and we capitalized on it. My opinion was, where everybody was cutting back on stock and crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s, we expanded our stock and made it readily available when customers called so we could have same-day shipping, we could have the answers, we could supply anything. So we are sitting on a very large stock and turning it weekly.”

A dicey battle plan, some might say, in this tentative fiscal age. But to hear Repult tell it, there’s no other way to stay in (let alone ahead of) the game.

“I know personally as a shopper, because I love to go to Target or Best Buy or Blockbuster, I notice that some stores don’t have the product when I go in, and that’s the worst thing that can happen in my opinion, because then you don’t go back,” he explained. “I think that as long as it’s selling, stock it! That’s my motto: Have it on the shelf.”

Not that Repult has gone totally unaffected by the economy’s current doldrums.

“Now I actually have to work,” he joked. “Ten years ago, I could just lie back and take orders. Now I have to actually get on the phone and call somebody. And I do see that a lot of store owners are actually working their cash register and actually answering their phones; they’re actually doing the work themselves. They say profits are up, but they had to scale back on employees. So I mean, that’s about the difference ... I have to actually dial for dollars more now.”

Premiere is reaching out in other ways, as well—the company has been running a tear-out survey in these pages asking retailers for their take on what sells and what they value in a distributor. And as an incentive for buyers to send it in, they are offered a voucher upon doing so for 50 free DVDs with their first Premiere order.

“It seems to be doing really well,” Repult said. “People are mailing it in and we’re learning as we go. We thought as long as we stay open-minded and not closed-minded, we’re never too late to learn something new.”

That sense of modesty might very well be as responsible as anything else for Premiere’s continued growth.

“We’re normal Joes at Premiere,” Repult contended. “No matter what kind of money we’re making, we’ve always felt that we’re not better than anybody, and we are who we are because of our customers, and we have to answer to them. We’ve always kept our customers because we have offered things at Premiere that other distributors hadn’t offered. We guarantee our products that we sell to the retail stores forever. If you’re buying from us on a regular basis and you have a problem with your product, we take it back. And we’ve always kept the motto ‘The customer’s always right.’

“I’m happy with the way things are today,” he summed up. “I just try to stay in today and figure out what tomorrow will be tomorrow.”

To find out more about Premiere Sales Group, contact Drew Kennedy at (888) 550-8621 or [email protected]

This article originally ran in the January 2010 issue of AVN.