March 17th, 2009 10:19 EST
Erotic Novelty Sales Are Suffering As Well From The Deteriorating Global Economy
France is seeing the effect of the decaying global economy on many of its industries. As a market usually stoic to a fluctuating economy, France`s sexually related item market including massage oils, kinky underwear, and stimulators has recently felt the blow of the recession gripping the world.
French purveyors of panties and push buttons hosted "Big Eropolis": a convention of erotica that opened on Friday outside Paris. As an additional draw for would-be visitors, the fair put on regular striptease routines on a center stage during the festival`s busy hours. Dubbed the biggest of its variety in the world, the fair saw strong numbers coming through the gates, while sellers recorded that sales didn`t match what they had earned in years past.
The fair`s chief sponsor, Eric Heuninck spoke on how his industry is impacted by the country`s plunging economy.
"We are hit by the financial crisis. We are not in the car industry either, so we haven`t seen a drop (in sales) of 50 percent, but the financial crisis has hit us," he said.
On a positive note, he said that the convention`s attendance at least equaled the turnout a year ago, and at 30 euros a ticket, he and the other organizers of the fair profited reasonably well. Mature adults of all ages came out in droves to peruse the various vibrators, sensuous lingerie, and S&M bedroom wear that was proudly displayed at all the fair`s stalls.
Bernard Montagud owns a sex toy business that travels around France. While manning his stall at the fair on Friday, he spoke unabashedly about how with the escalating unemployment rates in the country, people aren`t buying and spending as much as they once did.
"We have had a fall in turnover of about 30 percent compared with last year. Of course there`s been an impact on business. Before, when a customer came and we presented the products, we always managed to sell them two or three items. Now, alas, they leave with one single item. We feel the impact."
France has seen unemployment increasingly rising for the past several months as the world economy continues its harrowing descent. And since these rates are predicted to get worse before they get better, like nearly everywhere else worldwide, many tenured employees are now anticipating losing their jobs of ten or more years in some cases.
But some of the customers at the fair were boggled by the news that sales of erotic products are notoriously down especially when plenty of people of a lot of time on their hands.
A pensioner, going by the first name of Joelle, asserted her spending habits in the velvet underground haven`t changed the slightest.
"When you can`t go out, you have fun at home. So maybe it (the fair) can work," she proposed with tongue-in-cheeky humor.