Sex toys and lingerie immune to consumer gloom
There is no shrinkage in the demand for Ann Summers' ranges of sex toys and lingerie, as the retailer revealed strong trading figures for its first quarter of this year.

Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold announced an 11 per cent like-for-like sales increase. She said the sales growth experienced by the retailer over Christmas has continued at the same pace into the spring and is expected to go on into the second quarter.

Gold said: 'Whilst the UK seems to have lost its retail libido, Ann Summers has risen to the challenge and shown a continued growth in sales, I put this down to trust. We listen to what our customers want and have fun with them. We have a sense of humour that we share with our customers. That is why they keep coming back again and again.'

Ann Summers operates 123 stores in the UK and one in Spain. It also has a party planner sales force of 7,500 women. The retailer claims gross annual sales of£155 million.