Ann Summers aims to boost lingerie shop numbers as UK sales climb

Ann Summers has 88 stores and wants to open more (Ann Summers)
Ann Summers has 88 stores and wants to open more (Ann Summers)

The Ann Summers lingerie and sex toys chain plans to open more stores after sales stormed back above the £100 million mark.

In the first set of results since former boss Jacqueline Gold died in March the company said it wants to open four to five more before the end of 2024. It currently has 88 branches, including five in London.

In finacial results for the year to June 2022 filed at Companies House the company, owned by Vanessa Gold and the Estate of Jacqueline Gold, said: “Our stores performed strongly, exceeding our expectations.”

It is the latest in the sector to report good demand to return to physical shopping post-lockdowns. Bravissimo last month said High Street stores remain an “important” part of its business.

Turnover improved 7.4% to £100.1 million at Ann Summers Ltd as high streets opened up after the pandemic.

Maria Hollins, chief executive said: “We started the year strongly with stores re-opening and footfall gradually returning to the High Street, but the rise of the Omincron variant disrupted the key Christmas trading period as customers sought to protect their family Christmas plans.”

Hollins added: “In the latter part of the financial year, profitability was hindered by significant price increases in freight fuelled by the Ukraine/Russia conflict and the reinstatement of business rates in April.”

The retailer saw statutory pre-tax profit slump to a £21.9 million pre-tax loss after exceptional items from a £6.4 million loss previously. However, underlying profit was £1.2 million, down from £3.5 million which the boss said was a good result given the circumstances.