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Despite online competition, Pahrump’s Adult Superstore thrives

It’s a one-of-a-kind business right in the heart of town and it continues to thrive for more than a decade after opening its doors.

No doubt, anyone traveling along Highway 160 near Walmart has seen the baby-blue building with the red lettering located on Emery Street just east of the highway.

If not, its name is the Adult Superstore and according to Manager Roberta Anderson, a 28-year resident of Pahrump, the store has its share of regular customers just as any other business in Pahrump, despite its XXX adult theme.

“I’ve been the manager here for about 11 years and this store has been open for 14 years,” she said just recently. “We have our good days and slow days just like other businesses.”

Inquiring mind

Full disclosure, I personally was curious about how such a business can maintain its stability in our small rural community, given the fact that anyone can acquire sexually-oriented material via their laptop computers and/or cellphones.

In fact, back in the mid-1980’s, while living in Southern California, myself and a few friends would visit what was then known as the “adult bookstore,” just for giggles and grins.

What’s interesting was the fact that there were no books to be found.

The only items in stock were magazines, VHS tapes and of course those phone-booth-sized enclosures to watch what was known as “dirty movies.”

It appears that much has changed since that time.

“Even though a lot of people can get access to adult content online, we have customers who still come in and purchase or rent movies on DVD here,” Anderson noted. “We also carry a full line of adult-oriented products.”

Purchasing those items, Anderson said, are individuals from all walks of life, gender and ages, as long that they are at least 18 years of age.

She even dismissed the common notion that creepy looking, single males clad in trenchcoats make up the majority of her clientele.

“That’s just not true,” she said. “I even have single females who come in regularly. We get a variety of different customers and especially a lot of couples coming in. The other day I had to card someone just to make sure they were of age to enter here. I always say that if you’re coming in on my shift, and you don’t have crow’s feet, I will ask for your ID.”

Everything under the sun

Those who do enter the business will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of, um, inventory consisting of colorful gadgets and gizmos of all shapes and sizes on display inside the brightly lit, and expansive sales floor.

“Without particularly specifying, we have just about every adult-themed item from A to Z,” Anderson said. “I have a lot of people who come in and purchase gifts for birthdays and anniversaries. Of course, we get many customers that buy gifts for bachelorette and bachelor parties. I also have a lot of regular and repeat customers, including our snowbirds, but when they are gone, we do lose those customers for the season.”

Touchy, feely

Anderson did note that many of her regular customers would regularly make their purchases online, but not any longer.

She cited customer service as being the main reason people prefer to buy those items in person.

“I’ve had customers come in and tell me that they made a purchase online, but when they received it, it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be,” she said. “One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is actually helping people on the sales floor because I’m more of a people person. Customers want to come in and actually see the item, touch it and know exactly how it works. I’ve also had the same issues with people who order lingerie online.”

Catching a buzz

Interestingly, Anderson said a few customers actually told her that their relationships have been saved after visiting the business.

“I have had men and women alike come in because things aren’t working as they once did,” she said. “I have had plenty of women come in who have been alone for many years. They chose to remain celibate because they lost their husband, but they needed a little help in certain areas, and I can certainly point them in the right direction.”

Another interesting element Anderson spoke of is the volume of business the store receives, and how it relates to the time of season.

“I’ve noticed that over the years we get very busy during tax time when people get their tax returns,” she said. “Valentine’s Day is also a busy time. During May, June and July, we get a lot of brides coming in, so we get a lot of people who buy for bridal showers. We also get kind of busy during Christmas season, where I have had the same regulars come in for the past 13 years during those times. They will come in and buy something cute or fun for their honey. We even have rushes throughout the day, where some customers drop in during their lunch hour.”

The big screen scene

Inventory aside, Pahrump’s Adult Superstore even houses an X-rated movie theatre, playing full-length movies throughout the day and evening.

“The movies begin at 8 a.m. and it’s $6 for 8 hours, but most people don’t hang out that long,” she said with a laugh. “We have two screens which are divided by a semi-divider wall. It’s just like a regular movie theater, with the push-down seats, except of course the features are all triple X. I will say that still to this day, I have people who walk in and they are amazed at how clean and nice it is here.”

Though the Adult Superstore is a one-of-a-kind type business in town, employees from other adult-themed businesses are regular customers as well.

“This is it, other than the brothels,” she noted. “And speaking of the brothels, I get a lot of the ladies coming in here as well. They buy a lot of lingerie and adult toys. In the adult industry, we have a lot of things that can help the gentlemen as well as the women. I do have to say that I have met some of the nicest people in here.”

Opinions vary

Additionally, Anderson made certain to say that not everyone has a glowing opinion of the business.

“We do have those people who happened to disagree with the business just as they do with the brothels here in town,” she said. “I am not here to judge anyone. I am here to help people because that’s my job, and it includes protecting what the owner has put into my hands to protect. I will say that for whatever reason, at times, there is a negative stigma attached to adult-themed businesses such as this one. There are a few people who believe they are seedy, dark, dirty type places. I get compliments all the time, but that stigma is still in some people’s minds.”

Self-control

One very important detail Anderson communicated is the fact that any type of sexual activity on the premises is strictly forbidden.

“It is posted that once you walk in, there is to be no sexual activities, and no smoking,” she announced. “Both are completely prohibited and if that was to be found out, then they would be 86’d immediately.”

The Adult Superstore is located at 330 Emery Street between Basin and Oxbow avenues.

Business hours are from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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