Retailer Tokyo Valentino Ordered Closed by Marietta, Ga., Council

MARIETTA, Ga.—Retailer Tokyo Valentino last night lost an appeal to keep one of its Georgia stores open after the City of Marietta revoked the store’s business license. But just hours after the city’s decision, the attorney representing Tokyo Valentino says the battle is just heating up with the town. “This is far from over,” Cary Wiggins, an industry attorney representing Tokyo Valentino, told AVN. “The store will continue to operate. That’s all I can say for now.” After a two-hour hearing that involved testimony from a number of witnesses, including municipal officials and the store’s marketing executive, City Council here ordered the retailer to “immediately” remove its merchandise and close shop. The Marietta store originally had its business license revoked on June 18 after officials determined that the store’s merchandise, including a small metal bin that housed the store’s adult DVDs, didn’t mirror its license application. The revocation of its business license, according to last night’s motion, extends 180 days. Tokyo Valentino owner Michael Morrison, who was not present at the hearing, has disputed all along the city’s claims that his store, open for about four years, is not authorized to sell as much as 90 percent of the items it carries, which include adult toys, adult videos, smoke supplies, lingerie and other goods. Wiggins argued the city was citing an ordinance on “adult bookstores” that doesn’t cover adult toy and novelty items sold there. “It doesn’t even come close to being an adult bookstore,” Wiggins said at the hearing. “I can assure you Barnes & Noble sell more erotic media than Tokyo Valentino. Stretching an adult bookstore to sex toys is going beyond the text, and you’re using it to shut the business down.” Marietta City Attorney Ben Smith, however, insisted that the ordinance does cover them.  “[The ordinance’s language] is not good,” Smith said. However, city leaders years ago had foresight to define “an establishment having a significant part of their stock and trade.” After the proceedings regarding Tokyo Valentino, City Council went into executive session and delivered the news on its ruling.

written by: Rhett Pardon

source: Retailer Tokyo Valentino Ordered Closed by Marietta, Ga., Council | AVN