Playboy’s London Megastore Wrong on So Many Levels

Here at gadling, we are quick to bash the megalomanic American exports ranging from Starbucks and hamburgers to bad movies. It is not that we don’t want American companies to succeed abroad. You just don’t want to see home-grown fast-food chains when traveling to Southeast Asia.

I can’t help but cringe when I analyze some of the crap America exports. Even worse, that others think America IS that crap.

Take Playboy, for example. Their new store–largest in the world–just opened right in the heart of London, on Oxford Street. If you are like me and have no idea that there is such a thing as a Playboy store, you must wonder: do they sell those heavily airbrushed, half-plastic, no-way-they-could-survive-in-the-age-of-HDTV women? They don’t. It is worse than that.

They sell what they call luxury goods: clothes (apparently competing with Diesel), cosmetics and branded knick-knacks to anyone who thinks buying a hat with the bunny head logo on it is living dangerously. The Playboy store doesn’t even display the magazine or any sex toys. What? We complain about Starbucks taking over the world one caffeinated step at a time but at least they actually sell coffee, not pictures of coffee.