Dec 7, 2020
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Ann Summers unveils CVA plan to cut rent on 25 more stores

Dec 7, 2020

​Another day, another CVA. Lingerie and sex toy retailer Ann Summers has launched a restructuring plan under a now-common option, a Company Voluntary Arrangement. The aim is to cut rents at 25 of its stores hit by the second pandemic lockdown.

Ann Summers

The retailer said it will aim to secure £10 million of new funding to drive its turnaround if the CVA plan is approved by creditors.​ It has hired FRP Advisory to oversee the process and will need to secure approval from 75% of landlords at a vote later this month. 

The 91-store retailer said it has entered extensive discussions with landlords over plans to switch to turnover-based rents for all its operations. If successful, they will join other stores with already agreed revised rental terms that followed discussions with landlords over recent months. Ann Summers stressed these landlords will not be affected by the CVA.

“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,” Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold told Retail Gazette.

Gold added: “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.

“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”.

Ann Summers joins several recent high street banners to pursue CVAs in a bid to transition to turnover-based rents. They include menswear retailer Moss Bros and footwear retailer Clarks.

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