Discover the unique approach of Lover’s Lane, a retailer of lingerie, adult novelties and romantic gifts, and how they are different from their competitors in the online retail industry. Learn about their focus on personal touch, expert advice, same-day shipping, and a fun company culture from the VP and co-founder, Mike Allmond in this exclusive interview on ValiantCEO Magazine.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Mike Allmond: I’m Mike Allmond, and I am the co-founder and VP of Lover’s Lane. We are a retailer of lingerie, adult novelties and romantic gifts. We just celebrated our 30th year in business, and have 37 brick and mortar locations in the Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We also sell our products nationally via our website, loverslane.com. We recently expanded into Ohio and have plans to expand even more in the coming year.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffett, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Mike Allmond: The retail niche we are in is flooded with online competitors. They purchase cheap items and sell them for high markups. We look at it a lot differently. When you come into Lover’s Lane, you’re greeted by an expert in romantic wellness that can advise you on the best items for your specific needs and wants. Our shipping is handled in-house so we offer same-day shipping, which is only done by a handful of retailers anymore. While everything is digital first, we can provide a top-notch digital experience with an unrivaled personal touch.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Mike Allmond: So many in our industry had this problem (and some still do). I think it boils down to culture. We are a fun company to work for, and we treat our people right. I have always placed a strong emphasis on having the best possible employee experience, so they in turn give our customers the best possible experience. While we could have decided to move the business 100% online, we know that the personal experience you get in a Lover’s Lane store is unparalleled in the industry, and we need happy people doing that work on a daily basis.
Online business keeps on surging higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for the year to come and how are you capitalizing on the tidal wave?
Mike Allmond: Online retail and e-commerce saw a huge boom during the pandemic, and we experienced that as well. We ended up instituting curbside pickup which was helpful for our brick and mortar locations. In 2023, we see a trend already of consumers coming back to the store experience. Our repeat customer business is strong, and continues to be. This is because we are strong on remarketing and using our revamped loyalty program to help customers save during a tight economy.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Mike Allmond: The biggest challenge for us is competition and differentiating. You can purchase many of the items we carry from other retailers. So for us, it is always about improving the customer experience. That’s why we revamped our loyalty program for repeat customers in 2023. We are also expanding our locations and our online offerings, including an exclusive line of products that will only be available through Lover’s Lane.
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Mike Allmond: I think the biggest thing we have learned in the past 3 years has been expect the unexpected. We all had to pivot during the pandemic, and then again when inflation was sky high. So it is about being nimble in a market that requires it. Many businesses that have been around as long as we have don’t pivot quickly enough, and it ends up hurting them. We have a lot of talented people in our company that help us stay fresh and try new things to keep the business growing.
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Mike Allmond: Success in 2023 will be seeing our company grow. We are taking on new initiatives right out of the gate in Q1, which means we will see progress soon. This is a big year for Lover’s Lane, and we are excited for it.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Mike Allmond for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Mike Allmond or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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