Ann Summers has secured £8m in fresh funding in a bid to boost its omnichannel offering and drive growth, Retail Week can reveal.

Ann Summers Lakeside

Ann Summers is taking steps to grow the business on the back of increasing sales

Ann Summers has secured a deal with asset-based lender Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance (STB CF), which has agreed to provide an £8m asset-based lending (ABL) facility to the retailer.

The new lending facility supports the lingerie and sex toy retailer’s existing shareholder financing and comes following a 7.6% rise in sales for Ann Summers to reach £100.1m in its latest trading update.

The deal is also set to support further business growth for the retailer and allow it to bolster its ecommerce and online retail offering as well as “boosting working capital across the business.”

Ann Summers chief financial officer John Boyle said: “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.”

Asset-based lending on the rise

Richard Foote, regional managing director of STB CF, told Retail Week that over the past year there has been an increase in “high profile” retailers turning to asset-based debt lending to allow them to adapt in to a “more volatile market.”

“Many retailers took a hit during Covid, which has been followed by the cost-of-living crisis causing consumers to become more cost-conscious, focused on trusted brands and prioritise spending on essentials,” he said.

“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.”

Strategised objectives for growth

STB CF regional sales director Tony Young added: “We’re pleased to provide this facility to Ann Summers and to be working with the experienced management team. It is exciting to work with a household name that has big plans and a bright future ahead of it.

”This is another great example of how ABLs can support retailers and other businesses to finance growth. We have worked closely with the management team to structure a facility that is ideally suited to supporting Ann Summers to achieve its strategic objectives over the next few years.”