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Ann Summers restructures after 'challenging' year

Lingerie brand Ann Summers has made three of its directors redundant as part of wider changes to its top team, Drapers has learned.  

The 140-store company is believed to have announced the move, which it says will create a “flatter structure”, to staff last week. Buying and merchandising director Paul Clifford, who has been at the company since 2010, will be among those let go.

Managing director Vanessa Gold acknowledged it had been “a challenging year” and said the restructure would help develop the business for the future and “maximise its potential”.

Its most recent accounts filed at Companies House for the year to June 29, 2013 show a 2.4% decline in turnover from £117.7m to £114.9m, and a 40% fall in pre-tax profits from just over £4m to £2.4m.

Gold declined to comment on how the redundancies would affect remaining staff or who would take on responsibilities previously held by the trio.

Instead she said: “The changes have been put in place to ensure we continue to push our brand forward over this period and beyond.

“We have introduced a flatter structure to enable quicker decision-making and support the business with the exciting opportunities we are embarking on. These changes have unfortunately resulted in the redundancy of three senior roles, all of whom we will be sorry to see go. However, we are confident this is the right decision to move forward – with exciting times ahead, we anticipate a great 2014/15.

Gold added: “As we look forward to our new financial year and the exciting projects we have coming up, we want to ensure we have the right structure in place for the business to maximise its potential.

“It has been a challenging year across the board in retail, however as a brand we have a very exciting year ahead with the imminent launch of our new celebrity face – Sam Faiers [of The Only Way is Essex] – later this month, as well as our second season of the Giles Deacon collaboration coming in the autumn and upcoming international eBay launch.

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