Feminist sex toy store Babeland sells to new owner after 25 years – Park Slope – New York


Sex toy chain Babeland has sold its four branches in New York and Seattle to compete with Good Vibrations.
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Babeland

PARK SLOPE – The founders of premium sex toy store Babeland decided to quit smoking and sell Bay Area rival Good Vibrations after 25 years of peddling good adult toys.

Babeland’s four stores – including its Park Slope, Lower East Side and SoHo stores – will retain their name and feminist spirit, but will be owned by the San Francisco sex toy supplier from the end of August, according to Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland. . , who said the sale came after “a few difficult years” in business.

“We reached a point where it was difficult for us to grow,” said Cavanah, who founded the Seattle-based channel with partner Rachel Venning. “Our stores make money every year, but we just couldn’t get over this fourth store.”

But with a shared mission statement of sexual positivity, Cavanah believes Good Vibrations is the perfect company to carry Babeland’s message.

“Good Vibes is the closest business to Babeland in terms of mission and openness – it really is the best business we could have sold to,” Cavanah said.

Babeland opened its first store in Seattle in 1993 and moved to New York City in 1998 with a store on the Lower East Side. A SoHo outpost followed and the Park Slope location at 462 Bergen St. between Flatbush and Fifth Avenue opened in 2008.

The chain’s Seattle and New York branches will boost the reach of Good Vibrations, which already has nine stores across California and Massachusetts, and the Babeland brand will remain intact, with sex toy stores keeping their staff and pink decor. and classic blue, said a Good Vibrations representative.

“There is no intention on our part to change Babeland’s branding. They already have a strong identity. Nothing is broken there,” said Carol Queen, sex therapist at Good Vibrations. “The way Babeland operates around the world won’t be much different for customers. We appreciate Babeland and are happy to have them in our family. ”

This value extends to Babeland’s 2016 contract with the union of retailers, wholesalers and department stores, making the chain the first sex shop in the country to unionize. Good Vibrations plans to honor this historic agreement, Queen said.

“This is by no means a compromise for Good Vibrations,” said Queen. “We’re just going to see how things go.”

The founders of Babeland may be retiring from the business, but they are not yet backing away from the sex toy industry.

“I still feel like the Babeland project is really good and I’m still interested in it. Sometimes I think about creating a podcast about mainstream sexuality,” Cavanah said. “I guess we’ll see. We’re excited to move on to the next chapter.”

The union of retailers, wholesalers and department stores did not respond to comments.

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