Sometimes, I've had just about enough about something or everything
and need to vent somewhere. I'll try to keep it about LA strip clubs, but who
knows. It might turn out to be just good ol' babbling and chanting. Good material
for flame mail.
...Must calm down. Damn, this acupuncture treatment.
David vs. GoliathAugust 6, 2007
Wal-Mart, Ralphs, Starbucks, Borders, Foot Locker, Home Depot, Toys 'R' Us, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and McDonald's. What do these retail stores have in common?
They are all mega-retailers that dominate their markets. Moreover, these guys make it very difficult for the little mom and pop stores to stay in business, especially in the same neighborhood. In order to go head to head against any of these retailers, the mom and pop store must not make any mistakes and have something for the consumer that the giants do not offer.
What does this have to do with strip clubs? The Wal-Marts of the strip
clubs are making the same moves in the strip club industry. At least they're
trying. Is this the end of the "mom and pop" strip clubs?
But unlike large retail chains, there is no cost savings to the club for buying in volume (except maybe for juice and during construction) since the "inventory" (or asset) is basically the dancers. It's not like the dancers will give you a volume discount.
However, like a large modeling or talent agency, the larger chains can get new talent from referrals by your current talent pool. They can also afford to have booths at the large adult conventions, for recruiting purposes. All the advertising targeted to customers also work for new talent. If an 18 year old new talent decides she wants to dance, the first place she'll try will be one of the heavily advertised chain clubs because of the name recognition. In fact, she probably doesn't even know the other small ones exist unless she happens to live near one.
So, all this means is, it's tough going for the independent clubs, like it is for the mom and pop book stores, record stores, and electronic stores.
But unlike retail stores, individual dancers cannot be replicated. Some dancers have a following and their customers will go to whatever club they go to. In an interview with John Gray (CEO of Spearmint Rhino), I posed this same question to him and his response was that customers will go to a card board box if that club had 20 beautiful dancers on shift all the time.
One other factor that's more important now than it was 15 years ago is the same one for real estate. Just 3 things: Location, location and location. When there were only 20 clubs in all of LA, people were willing to drive many miles for their entertainment. Today, people don't even want to have to take a freeway.
Summary of advantages of the big guys:
It's a daunting challenge for the mom and pop one-only strip clubs. What can they do?
The bottom line is, it ain't gonna be easy. If you have an existing mom and pop club, just sitting on your existing customer base won't work anymore. If you're thinking about opening your first strip club, you'd better think long and hard. Then think again.
Of course, if things don't work out, you can always sell out to one of the big chains.