Dean Farebrother, the owner of SexToys.co.uk has been tracking changes in Britain’s kinky habits for 10 years. The website is one of Britain’s leading online adult stores and when visitors shop they spend on average £35 (about $48).This year a surprise hit was The Cone which, for those of you not in the know, is a large cone shaped vibrator. Director of the company Monique Carty says “It’s completely inoffensive and you would never know what it was if you saw it sitting on the side.”
Growth has been phenomenal for the company which operates in a competitive area. Traffic to the website in July 2010 was up 40 per cent compared to the same month previous year and conversion rates have steadied. The company puts this down to SEO tactics, a blog and The Vibe TV where it says customers ‘can watch our Pleasure Presenters give product demonstrations.’
The firm, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year, is estimating a £5m (about $6.9m) turnover in 2011. It has its own sex toy brand Loving Joy and wants the website to have its own community.
With ambitious growth plans I wonder if the business can achieve them with the founder Dean Farebrother’s private funding – there has been no outside investment to date and the business claims to be debt free.
Whilst Farebrother has no immediate plans to seek funding, if a buyout were on the cards he would be open to offers, particularly from Richard Desmond the owner of Television X and now Channel Five.
Will the company stay private for its next 10 years or is a takeover inevitable?
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