HELPING WOMEN AND COUPLES TO TRULY ENJOY SEX
by Kristin Deuber
What started as an adult bookstore in Columbus, Ohio, has come a long way since 1971. Now, the Lion’s Den is a national adult chain with 43 stores in 22 states, with more than 400 employees. The store has adapted and grown over the last forty years, and is currently rebranding and refreshing its stores to appeal to new customers, including women and couples.
Once derided as “freeway porn”, as much for its high-traffic locations along interstates and for its merchandise, the Lion’s Den chain now has modern and inviting retail spaces that many mainstream retailers favor today with a broad selection of merchandise. The city of Las Vegas got its first Lion’s Den outpost in April of this year.
The new Lion’s Den Las Vegas store, located in the former Wild J’s Gentleman’s Club space at 2923 Industrial Road, includes 5,500 square feet of completely remodeled space and the largest video arcade in the city. The remodel includes a complete overhaul of the former space with new light fixtures, flooring, signage and lighting to provide a more inviting and contemporary environment.
Forty-one years ago, Michael Moran opened the first Lion’s Den store inside a remodeled store front in Columbus, Ohio. As one of the first adult retail suburban stores in the county, the venture was a risk for this local music promoter. Since then, Moran, a humble industry leader and free speech crusader, has been successful at every level of business, overcoming numerous obstacles along the way, while creating one of the largest and most well-known retail brands in the nation. “Many of the people that work for us never had an idea of how successful our business would be and how large we would grow,” says Michael Moran, CEO and founder of the Lion’s Den. “We are proud of what we have built and the growth we continue to experience.”
In recognition of Moran’s leadership and ongoing efforts to protect freedom of speech, he has received numerous industry awards, including the special Lifetime Achievement Award from XBIZ – a top industry publication, as well as the 2005 Free Speech Coalition’s Hal Freeman “Freedom Isn’t Free” Award. “I believe in the First Amendment and that we have the right to sell our products to adults,” says Moran. “I don’t think children should be involved with this, but adults should have the right to purchase and view whatever they wish.”
Today, Moran and his team are focusing on growing the company, opening new stores and refreshing the existing stores to meet the needs of its growing customer base. “As an industry, we’re in growth mode,” says Mark L. Miller, who spent 17 years as a banker before joining the Columbus-based company as its vice president in 2012. “In 2006, the industry had $9.6 billion in sales. This past year, it was $15 billion.”
Lion’s Den is also investing in a rebranding effort which began in 2012, with the goal to appeal to a growing customer base of women and couples. Moran hired marketing industry veteran, Pete Potenzini, to lead these efforts, including developing a new logo, website and billboard, along with radio and TV commercial concepts. Based on customer research and industry trends, Lion’s Den is also in the process of remodeling retail spaces to give the national adult retail chain a softer and more accessible feel, along with a new and growing merchandise selection. While the company initially was known for selling adult books and videos, the current merchandise selection includes toys, lingerie, scented candles, oils, books and everything for the boudoir. “DVDs remain a component of the business, but our source of growth is in these new items,” says Miller.
To help women and couples have the confidence to explore and enjoy sex, the Lion’s Den recently signed Jaime Cooper as their resident sexpert. Cooper shares sex tips and advice to help people enhance the intimacy in their relationships, communicate better, be open to exploration and ultimately help them achieve the sex lives of their dreams. “Helping people truly enjoy sex is my life’s mission,” says Cooper, “to help them come together, stop judging each other, start communicating, and achieve the sex lives they fantasize about. Cooper offers advice on her blog: sexytime.lionsden.com, and holds in-store discussions and events. Her blog posts are candid and invite readers to submit questions. “Girls tend to talk about a lot of things with their girlfriends, so that’s what I want the blog to be – girlfriends discussing what we do or don’t do, like or don’t like,” continued Cooper. Recently Cooper wrote about body image and sex: “Having a negative body image is a bad habit and there’s no time like the present to break a bad habit. So, de-stress, live in the moment, make no more excuses and get to humping tonight!”
“Jaime brings a passion and positive attitude to what could be an intimidating role, and is excited about helping people learn to enjoy sex,” said Miller.
Lion’s Den stores across the U.S. are hosting ladies night events in May, focusing on the latest waterproof adult toys and novelties. All ladies attending the event will receive a coupon for 20 percent off any purchase. Also, there will be games, drawings, giveaways and door prizes. “We’ve had a great demand for our ladies nights since we started them a few years ago,” said Miller. “These events give women a chance to learn about new products in a relaxed atmosphere while meeting new people and having a fun evening out.”
The Lion’s Den has come a long way since its doors opened in 1971 as an adult bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. Today it’s about helping all people to have the confidence to enjoy and explore sex.
Lion’s Den Las Vegas 2923 Industrial Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89109
(corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Riviera) Open 24 hours a day
7 days a week • (702) 892-0699 • LionsDen.com