Ann Summers, the renowned lingerie and sex toy retailer, has recently achieved a remarkable turnaround after a difficult period. The company has reported an increase in sales and a return to profitability, marking an important milestone in its recovery. This positive outcome has allowed Ann Summers to move past a 13-month company voluntary arrangement (CVA) that it had been operating under. A key element of its successful turnaround strategy has been a strong emphasis on establishing a robust online presence, which has provided a solid foundation for future growth.

As part of its reorganization efforts, Ann Summers plans to revamp its 91 stores, with 25 of them transitioning to turnover-based rental agreements. This decision was supported by an overwhelming majority of creditors who agreed to the CVA. Additionally, the company has secured an extra £10 million in funding to further bolster its turnaround plans.

The notable progress made by Ann Summers is evident in its latest financial accounts filed at Companies House. During the fiscal year ending in June 2020, the company managed to reduce its EBITDA loss to £7.2 million, a significant improvement compared to the previous year’s loss of £11.3 million. Moreover, Ann Summers achieved profitability in the year ending June 2021, although specific figures were not disclosed. Sales also experienced a substantial upturn, with a 9.3% increase to £113.8 million during that period. Furthermore, sales for the first half of the current fiscal year continued to grow, with a 6.7% increase compared to the previous year and an impressive 16.9% increase compared to two years ago.

However, Ann Summers did face challenges concerning low footfall in its physical stores leading up to Christmas due to customer caution amidst rising Covid-19 cases. As a result, the future of these physical locations remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, the company’s digital channels have proven to be highly successful. Online numbers have nearly doubled, contributing significantly to the overall sales growth. The company’s direct sales division has also experienced substantial growth, more than doubling its revenues. CEO Jacqueline Gold has praised Ann Summers as a “true multichannel business” with robust online capabilities, a thoughtfully sized store portfolio, and a loyal network of direct sales ambassadors.

Ann Summers attributes its improved performance to various factors, including a focus on developing appealing product ranges, prioritizing quality and fit, and investing in digital platforms and other systems. The company’s commitment to delivering a seamless and engaging customer experience has played a pivotal role in its successful turnaround.

Overall, Ann Summers’ resurgence after a challenging period demonstrates its ability to adapt and thrive in a rapidly evolving retail landscape. With a strong online presence and a renewed focus on customer satisfaction, the company is well-positioned for continued success in the future.

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