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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 11:32 GMT
Hustler boss eyes 10 UK sex shops
Larry Flynt and friends
Larry Flynt and friends at the launch of the Birmingham store
US pornography magnate Larry Flynt says he wants to open 10 sex shops across the UK over the next few years.

Mr Flynt was speaking as he launched his first British outlet in Birmingham city centre.

The Hustler Hollywood stop is located on Birmingham High Street, next door to Boots and opposite Marks & Spencer.

Mr Flynt claims it is the largest sex product outlet in the UK, and urged the UK public not to prejudge his stores without trying them first.

'Posh'

The 6,000sq ft Birmingham shop and cafe stocks products including lingerie, sex toys, body oils, scented candles, novelties for hen and stag nights, Hustler branded clothing, books and jewellery.

It is decked out in velvet and leopard skin print with the more adult material displayed in walk-in pods, hidden from the view of the passing public.

Hustler hopes the outlet will stimulate "sex wars on the high street" and rival existing main street sex shop chain Ann Summers.

"People are always apprehensive when we open a store because they have all kinds if visions, like we are opening a brothel or something," said Mr Flynt.

"That's not what Hustler is about."

Men and women

The Hollywood Hustler stores were conceived by Mr Flynt's daughter Theresa Flynt-Gaerke.

She said that, far from being "seedy", they had an upmarket feel.

"A Hollywood Hustler store is very classy," she said.

Ms Flynt-Gaerke added that what differentiated it from Ann Summers was that "we target couples, Ann Summers targets women, it's a very different experience."

Hustler hopes to establish 10 stores across the UK by 2012 and has plans to open its next branches in London's Covent Garden, Nottingham and Cardiff.

Liberal Britain?

Hustler Hollywood's UK project manager, Roger Ede, said it cost 4.7m ($8.6m) to open the Birmingham store and that it was projected to take 2.5m in its first year.

Jay Munn, from Halesowen, West Midlands, was out Christmas shopping in Birmingham with her 13-year-old daughter when they happened across the Hustler Hollywood opening.

"I am not offended at all," she said. "Each to their own, I say."

"I think people are more open minded than they used to be, especially after Ann Summers."

The opening of first Hustler Hollywood store comes a week after high street chemist Boots said it was considering selling sex toys as a way of strengthening sales among women.




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