No to Porn and Erotica departments in mainstream European retail outlets!
Will an erotica aisle, with "sex toys and more," soon be coming to every supermarket near you?
Not so far (and, hopefully, not ever), but the German drugstore chain dm (with shops in 8 European countries, including Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary), along with a large maker of erotica, is heading that way. The company recently announced that a range of "sex toys" will be available in its shops in Germany from July, 2017.
With the inclusion of these products on the shop floor, which, at the moment, are only available online (dm has also offered them for some time already) and in erotica shops, dm may initiate a dangerous and lamentable softening toward such an array of products being openly sold in "mainstream" retail outlets.
It is not surprising, however, that Lea-Sophie Cramer, the founder of the erotica producer, Amorelie, which dm has chosen to partner, sees a "logical" development in going from online to in-home retailing, as she explains in her interview with the industry magazine "Marketing": "The topic of sex toys has meanwhile reached the mainstream. The sale of [such] products in the stationary trade [i.e., in retail outlets, like dm's shops] is therefore sensible. Dm is not only one of the largest drugstore chains in Germany, but also very innovative in both marketing and product selection, justifying the decision to work with the company."
Since Amorelie mostly belongs to the media group ProSiebenSat.1 (which is a large German mass media company), it is to be assumed that there is a long-term business strategy behind the decision to introduce erotica products into the range of dm's retail trade. After all, the erotica and porn market is a billion-dollar business, where a lot of money can be made.
The fact that, with a growing range of erotica articles in the retail trade, children are taught, earlier and earlier, that these "adult toys" are part of everyday life and indispensable, seems to be more than just a desired side-effect, but, probably, a key part of the "business model".
But, businesses, and particularly retail businesses such as dm, have a responsibility to the public and to the communities in which they are located. And, especially, to the impressionable children and adolescents of those communities.
By "mainstreaming" porn and erotica in their shops, they may increase their profit margin a little, but at the expense of the innocence of children, adolescents - and, adults! And, innocence is not something which one can buy or sell, and it is also something which cannot be regained, once lost.
Such "mainstreaming" of porn and erotica may set in motion a retail trend which could corrupt and injure the minds of the young - not just in Germany and Austria, but also all around Europe.
Indeed, in some jurisdictions around the world, porn has been declared as a "public health crisis". So, why would retailers, such as dm, wish to throw petrol on an already burning fire?
With the accompanying petition, we would like to give you the opportunity to inform the management of the dm Group that you are unhappy and perturbed with their announced plans to sell a range erotica, in-store. Together, with many other active citizens, you will be supporting the demand: "No to Porn and Erotica departments in mainstream European retail outlets!".
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