Ann Summers denies CVA rumours

Ann Summers has dismissed reports that it was the next retailer to launch a company voluntary agreement (CVA), saying the rumours were “pure speculation”.

Ann Summers

The lingerie retailer is under pressure to streamline its store portfolio after falling to a £3 million loss last year.

Last month, the Guardian reported that the company hired property advisers from CWM to discuss options for its 106 stores, and further media reports suggested up to 45 stores could be at risk of closure.

The sex toy and lingerie seller has admitted to facing difficulties due to the lethal combination of fragile consumer confidence, rising costs and the weaker pound.

“As a leading retailer operating in the current retail climate we are constantly striving to secure the most cost effective and responsible ways of working,” a spokeswoman told Retail Gazette on Thursday. “This includes working with a property agent on our existing portfolio as well as new sites that we hope to secure in the near future.”

The spokesperson denied claims that the business was on the verge of launching a CVA. “Ann Summers has absolutely no plans to do a CVA, but given the market conditions and that many stores are over-rented, it makes sense to be having a constructive dialogue with landlords at the present time. To say otherwise is pure speculation and unnecessarily upsetting for our people.’’

Ann Summers swung to a £3 million loss from a profit of £2.9 million a year earlier, despite experiencing flat sales of £110 million last year.

Several fashion retailers have used the CVA card to close unprofitable stores over the last year, including Mothercare and New Look.

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