FLIRT adult stores have been celebrating an amazing achievement after being crowned Australia's Best Adult Retail Store and Best Online Adult Retail Store for 2020, at the recent X Awards Australia (X Awards) in Melbourne.
Jules Pearce, manager of Flirt for Bathurst and Orange, said it was an amazing feeling to be voted most popular, taking home two awards.
"We were notified three weeks ago that we had made the final three, so to actually win both categories was fantastic," she said.
"It was a proud moment for everyone and now all our staff can say we are number one in Australia.
"We are about more than simply serving customers, we help people across regional NSW have better relationships, feel more comfortable with their sexuality, and just enjoy life."
There were strict criteria for businesses wishing to nominate for the awards, with both categories requiring customers and supporters to vote online for their favourite store.
Jules said the victories showed just how much they are appreciated by their local communities.
"Having stores in regional places like Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo, it allows us to actually connect and help our customers rather than them simply being another number through the door," she said.
"We help educate people, build their confidence and communication, and are a benchmark in our industry.
"We love being part of the communities we live and work in, including donating to charities and support local clubs and organisations."
While COVID has made life difficult for most people over the past 12 months, Flirt has used the unsure time to promote their online shopping range.
CEO and founder of X Awards Australia and Sweet Release Agency, Jett Black, said that it was taking advantage of these opportunities to boost their business and being part of local communities that helped drive Flirt to their two award wins.
"We had 57,000 people vote in the awards overall and Flirt received about three per cent of the total vote count, which is an amazing achievement for regional stores," he said.
"Flirt's ability to not only keep growing but grow in a positive direction, and really be able to assist their customers not only helped them win their categories but says a lot about the stores and their staff."
Jett said he started the awards to provide genuine rewards for an industry that is often overlooked.
"I started the X Awards in 2019 because Australia really was lacking legitimate and transparent awards for the adult industry," he said.
"Sex and the adult industry is sometimes seen as a taboo or confrontational topic, but we are all about rewarding hard-working, innovative, and successful business people who often don't get the recognition they deserve.
Over 40 businesses and entertainers were finalists at the awards night with over $500,000 in prizes up for grabs, and a strict voting process was implemented to ensure the integrity of the competition.
Jett said the awards night went off without a hitch, having previously been postponed due to COVID, and he was looking forward to the 2021 awards.
"COVID has made a major impact on people's businesses and lives, and it certainly has had a devastating effect on the adult industry," he said.
"But that said we are a supportive group of people and have used the awards to help boost each other up, make new connections and contacts, and celebrate each other's achievements."
The 2021 X Awards will be held in November with nominations set to open in April.
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