// Ann Summers hires property advisers to consider options
// It will seek rent reductions across its 106 stores
// Comes after the retailer swung into the red in its last full year
Ann Summers has hired property advisers to consider options and assist it in negotiating with landlords for lower rents across its store estate.
The news comes after the lingerie and sex toys retailer swung to a full-year operating loss of £3.16 million, according to accounts filed at Companies House in January.
Ann Summers has now hired property firm CWM to discuss options for its 106 stores, The Guardian reports.
In addition, sources speaking to The Guardian said if rent reductions are not agreed then the retailer may be forced to consider pursing a CVA.
In response to an enquiry from Retail Gazette, a spokesperson for Ann Summers said: “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.
“This includes working with a property agent on our existing portfolio as well as new sites that we hope secure in the near future.”
Ann Summer’s swing into the red came after what chief executive Jacqueline Gold described as a “difficult year”.
The retailer’s operating loss for the year ending June 30, 2018, compares to the prior year’s operating profit of £2.97 million.
In addition Ann Summers recorded pre-tax loss of £3.34 million for the full year compared pre-tax profit of £2.91 million the year prior.
Meanwhile, sales grew marginally from £109.01 million to £109.96 million year-on-year.
Gold said the retailer’s losses were due to higher sourcing costs, business taxes and investing in refreshing the 49-year-old brand.
She also said the devaluation of sterling after the Brexit referendum had put pressure on margins and dented profits by £1.5 million.