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Ann Summers snaps up eight million pound funding to bolster growth

By Rachel Douglass


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Ann Summers storefront. Credits: Ann Summers.

Ann Summers has reportedly snapped up an eight million pound asset-based lending facility from lender Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance (STB CF) as it looks to move into its next phase of growth.

The deal was secured with an existing shareholder of the lingerie retailer, which is hoping to bolster its e-commerce and online retail offering as well as “boosting working capital across the business”, chief financial officer John Boyle told Retail Week.

Speaking to the media outlet, Boyle added: “We have our sights set on growth for Ann Summers and are pleased to have increased our sales following several challenging years for the retail sector.

“It has been great to work with Tony [Young] and the STB team, who have taken the time to really understand our business and our objectives. The funding from STB will help us to continue to build our omnichannel proposition in a continuously evolving sector.”

Funding reflects reliance on asset-based lending

Meanwhile, in the eyes of STBH CF’s managing director, Richard Foote, the deal reflects an increased desire for “high profile” retailers to rely on asset-based debt lending, which he said allowed them to adapt to the currently “volatile market” sparked by the cost-of-living crisis and cost-conscious consumer spending.

Foote continued: “As inflation continues to fall and some level of normality returns to markets in 2024, those retailers that have used asset-based lending to reduce their debt burden and to provide the business with the ammunition to grow and diversify have the opportunity to capitalise on this.

“We don’t expect this trend to slow down any time soon, which is evidenced by a number of high-profile deals, including our recent deals with Ted Baker’s holding company, NODL, and Ann Summers.”

The funding comes after a positive financial year for Ann Summers, which reported back in September that it had hit a milestone for the 52 week period ended June 25, 2022.

The company said that its turnover had risen from 93.2 million pounds to 100.1 million pounds, largely driven by retail sales that had risen 7.6 percent.

In the filing, the company’s newly appointed CEO, Susan Hollins, said that while there were still challenges that had impacted Ann Summers’ profitability, the company was continuing to plan a UK retail expansion in light of the strong return from that sector.

Ann Summers