Lovehoney, the UK’s largest online retailer of sex toys, has acquired high-end erotic retailer Coco de Mer in a deal which gives it its first high-street presence.
Coco de Mer, founded by Sam Roddick - daughter of Body Shop founder Anita – in 2001, has two stores in London, its flagship in Covent Garden and Brompton Cross.
The brand is known for its range of ethically sourced designer lingerie, sex toys, jewellery and erotic art and has celebrity customers including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Russell Brand.
Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst said: “Sam has made Coco de Mer a uniquely powerful proposition and her dedication to promoting a frank and open discussion about the enjoyment of sex has been uncompromising. We’re excited to continue to develop Sam’s groundbreaking work and make Coco de Mer the world’s leading luxury erotica brand.”
Coco de Mer will remain as a stand-alone brand with a high-end product range.
Lovehoney will invest in the Covent Garden store and will extend Coco de Mer’s range of own-brand wholesale products. It said it would leverage Lovehoney’s distribution and fulfilment network in Europe, US, Australia and Asia to expand the brand.
It is planning to overhaul the Coco de Mer’s website but said it would maintain the look and feel of the brand.
Roddick said that Lovehoney’s owners shared her passion for “legitimising and promoting positive discussion about eroticism”.
She said: “I believe that in their hands Coco de Mer will continue to offer customers a unique and highly personalised experience, a wide array of exclusive and ethical products as well access to information for those who don’t follow the conventions of mainstream society.”
Roddick will take on an informal role, advising on Coco de Mer’s positioning and product development.
Lovehoney, which acquired online lingerie brand BeCheeky in April, reported a 30% surge in sales in its year to March with revenue at £13.4m against pre-tax profits of £1.1m.