Ann Summers launches restructuring to slash rent bill

Lingerie and sex toys retailer Ann Summers has launched a restructuring plan to cut rents at 25 of its stores.

The high street chain, which runs 91 outlets, said it has already agreed revised rental terms on its other branches following discussions with landlords in recent months.

However, it said it will now seek a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) deal to move its remaining stores on to turnover-based rents.

The chain said it will also aim to secure £10 million of new funding to drive its turnaround, if the CVA plan is approved by creditors.

Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards – London
Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards – London

Ann Summers has drafted in experts from FRP Advisory to oversee the process and will need to secure approval from 75% of landlords at the vote later this month.

Chief executive Jacqueline Gold said: “Ann Summers has a bright future but, if the business is to fulfil its potential and prosper in the post-Covid trading environment, we need to align our property costs so they reflect the challenges facing today’s high street.

“I’m grateful to the majority of our landlords who have worked constructively with us to agree sensible terms on the vast majority of our stores, and these landlords will not be affected by the CVA.

“We continue to invest in our marketing, our product and our brand, and are seeking to protect as many stores and jobs as we can through this process.

“We have successful and growing online and party plan businesses, and, once our store rents are aligned to market levels as a result of this process, we can approach the future with confidence.”