The lingerie retailer enjoys a sales hike and launches ‘tongue in cheek’ ad campaign

Ann Summers’ lingerie sales have soared since rival La Senza more than halved its store portfolio after it plunged into administration last month. 

The lingerie and sex toy specialist has attributed a surge in footfall to the closure of 84 of La Senza’s 144 stores in January.

Ann Summers added that lingerie sales delivered a 40% uplift year-on-year last month, although it did not explicitly link the revenue rise to the La Senza closures.

Its latest ad campaign, which launches on Monday, is designed to raise awareness of Ann Summers as an everyday lingerie destination as well as taking what it claims is a “tongue-in-cheek swipe at the poor economy”.

The ad features slogans such as ‘Going Bust’ to promote its lingerie offer. La Senza, which was owned by private equity firm Lion Capital, hit the buffers last month. However the UK division of Middle Eastern trading house Alshaya bought 60 of its stores out of administration.

An Ann Summers spokeswoman said: “In this financial climate shoppers are becoming used to the doom and gloom of poor sales on the high street. However, Ann Summers is bucking the trend and we want to cheer up our consumers.”

The campaign, which features in store windows and inside its 150 shops, will also promote the retailer’s bra fitting service as it strives to fill the gap which La Senza’s downsizing has left.

Store personnel will wear badges in-store to identify them as bra fitting specialists and it will launch an online bra fitting calculator and size guide.

Ann Summers has pushed its more fashion-led underwear offer since it rebranded last year.

The retailer overhauled its product, packaging and marketing communications and launched a new store design as part of the overhaul.

Ann Summers said its two most popular lingerie fashion ranges had sold out through all channels following its launch last season, indicating that its rebrand was working. 

The retailer launched a pop-up shop in department store Selfridges in London last September and the brand is now being sold via Littlewoods owner Shop Direct’s business.