Ann Summers has hired KPMG to sell underwear brand Knickerbox with supermarkets and department stores leading the chase to buy the business.

It is thought that Tesco and Debenhams have shown early interest in Knickerbox, according to The Telegraph.

Ann Summers bought Knickerbox, which focuses on feminine and comfortable lingerie, in 2000 for an undisclosed sum when it was loss-making. It now sells the brand in its stores, online and through its Ann Summers parties.

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said that it envisaged the brand sitting with a retailer, pureplay or brand owner who can reach a broader sector of its customer base than its current positioning.

Ann Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold said: “We have made this decision as part of a wider strategic plan that we believe will allow us to experience continued growth and brand development.”