Lingerie and sex toys retailer Ann Summers is to roll out its new store format in the autumn as its rebrand gathers pace.
The initiative comes after the retailer revealed a plummet in pre-tax profits from £5.8m to £2.8m in its year to June 25, 2011. Revenue dipped £2m to £118m.
Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold said the profit dip was down to a “significant investment” in its rebrand, which includes more fashion-led product, new packaging and a relaunched website, along with its decision to absorb rising commodity prices and VAT.
Gold said: “We made the decision to rebrand at a time when other businesses would have chosen not to as we knew how important it was to differentiate ourselves.”
She was “cautiously optimistic” about returning to growth in the current year.
Gold said the retailer was rolling out the new store format after positive reaction to the design, which launched at the Westfield Stratford store in September.
The retailer will implement the model in a further six stores, which Gold said would allow it to gauge its success before a full roll-out was signed off.
The store format provides more theatre for its customers, featuring themed changing rooms and a six-foot rabbit in the centre of the shop.
The design aims to communicate Ann Summers’ “sexy and playful” nature to its customers.
Gold added: “We wanted to offer our customers a unique experience. We all know that consumers are still buying, they are just more considered about their purchases. We wanted to make sure that we gave our customers a retail experience that they couldn’t resist.”