10th December 1971, the first Ann Summers shop opened in Marble Arch and the British high street hasn't been the same since. The Gold family wouldn't own the brand for another year but Ann Summers was already the talk of the town.
Ann Summers goes into voluntary liquidation, and David and Ralph Gold buy the brand, two shops and the outstanding debt from business man Kim Caborn Waterfield. The Gold brothers pay £10,000 in 1972, this purchase included two stores that are still open to this day, Wardour Street and Marble Arch.
The golden question - was Ann Summers a real person? Well kinda. Dandy Waterfield named the shop this because he thought it sounded like English rose, and persuaded his former mistress, Annice Goodwin, to change her name in return for a directorship.
Our Executive Chair, Jacqueline Gold, joins her dad's business as an intern with a brilliant idea - Tupperware parties, but for Ann Summers Product. The Ann Summers party is born.
Back when catalogues were the latest thing, along came the Ann Summers catalogue. Bringing better sex - halle-freakin-lujah!
The year of frills, thrills and automobiles. The growing success of parties lead to the expansion of product and our first bridal collection which included the bestselling Royale negligee.
Our ambassadors (or demonstrators as they were known) reaped the rewards of joining the revolution – with top sellers bagging the latest Metro, kitchen gadgets and homeware sets.
Party Plan launches in Germany after an organiser moves there with her husband. The Germans love it, and soon, so do the Dutch and Danish. Ann Summers is going international, baby!
It's the first Party Plan conference, full of 150 Ann Summers' ambassadors. It grows from a one day event to a weekend, and now has thousands of prizes for sales, recruiters and design suggestions. A conference unlike any other.
Vanessa Gold originally joined the business at 17 helping out wherever she was needed, but officially becomes a part of the team. The Gold sisters are on their way to become the leaders we know and love today.
Ann Summers on tour! It starts as a fashion show, then becomes a roadshow with professional dance troupes, Xperience and Xcalibur, dressed in Ann Summers product, touring Britain and spreading the good word.
A promotion for JG who goes from director to CEO of Ann Summers.
Jacqueline is one of Gucci & Business Age's 40 Under 40 most succesful managers and enrtrepreneurs. Yeah she is.
Jacqueline's autobiography Good Vibrations launches everywhere (including in the Ann Summers catalogue, obviously).
We've made it! Sex and the City are talking about the rampant rabbit! If Samantha reccommends a sex toy, you know it's going to be good.
It's the 90's, it could only be The Pricey! Go girl, MEOW.
We're going live baby! Annsummers.com launches.
We add Knickerbox to the Ann Summers family and open our first store in Ireland. The second one isn't without controversy and JG receives a bullet in the post as a warning not to proceed. Nothing stops our CEO when she puts her mind to it though, and the store is a huge success.
Jacqueline takes the government to court for banning us advertising jobs at Ann Summers in job centres. We won, obvs. GIRL POWER.
We know Jacqueline's great, and now the world does too. Voted Business Icon in a survey by Everywoman and NatWest Bank, voted one of the the Top 10 Women at the Top by Esquire magazine, and most importantly of all, invited by the Queen to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the success of women in business. She's a powerhouse.
Our takeover of London continues, our flagship store on Oxford Street opens
Vanessa Gold becomes Managing Director, committed to moving the brand forward. She dons a disguise for Channel 4's Undercover Boss, finding out what's really going on inside Ann Summers, which becomes one of the most watched episodes of the series.
#WOW is founded by Jacqueline, championing working women, and recognising acheivements of women in business. Her #WOW twitter campaign supports start-ups and helps thousands of businesses grow.
Stores were re-designed to the current 'black concept' style, which provides an elegant, glossy, sexy destination for our customers.
Our business model gets even sexier thanks to a partnership with Shop Direct adding Wholesale to our talents
We team up with ITV to search the nation for a real woman to be the face of our next campaign. Lucy Moore wins and models our plus size range.
Joining forces with Relate, we conduct a sex census to find out what really happens under the sheets. Over 20,000 people complete the census and it's still talked about today.
Giles Deacon plus Ann Summers? Vogue approves and so do we. A match made in fashion heaven.
AS launches with Ebay and Amazon, making us even more accessible!
TOWIE babe Sam Faiers is our face of every day collection, Sexy Lace.
Ann Summers proudly supports breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! by encouraging every woman to show their boobs some love and check themselves regularly.
TOWIE's Jess Wright is announced as the gorgeous face and body of Swimwear and Bobby Norris is our first ever Pride Ambassador flying the rainbow flag for all the lovers. #LoveIsLove.
Our in house experts develop the Moregasm collection featuring Climax Technology – our most powerful sex toy motor yet. Endorsed by Dr Christian Jessen, the nation's prescription is multiple orgasms with a money back guarantee. Yes yes YES PLEASE.
British brands Simply Be and Debenhams join the growing list of Ann Summers stockists.
Let's Talk About Sex: Proving we're more than just a pretty pair of pants, the Ann Summers blog launches with everything you need to know for the best sex ever.
Adding to our growing list of brands, you can now shop AS on ASOS!
To top off a successful year, our inspirational CEO Jacqueline Gold is recognised in the New Year's honours list with a CBE.
Fictional series Brief Encounters comes to ITV, based on Jacqueline's autobiography Good Vibrations
A boss in the boardroom and a powerhouse pretty much everywhere else, Jacqueline Gold is awarded a CBE at Windsor Castle.
Lingerie also steals the limelight with Best Lingerie nominations from Cosmopolitan, Reveal and Fabulous, whilst our seriously sexy Dark Desires marketing campaign was recognised by Drapers.
2017 was the year we began our worldwide domination. Our first international-based partner comes on board, Namshi. But we didn’t stop there! Bare Neccessities and The Iconic joined us, taking us to the US and Australia & New Zealand.
You can now shop Ann Summers on Zalando (Europe), Nordstrom (US) and Zalora (Asia)- we're worldwide baby!
Our CEO Jacqueline Gold is awarded the inaugural Retail Activist Award - the awards keep stacking up!
It's International Women's Day, and we rebrand the Marble Arch store as WomAnn Summers to celebrate. Who run the world!?
The Pleasure Positivity Project launches, aiming to break down all the taboos surrounding female sexuality.
Sexually liberated and not afraid to talk about it, we partner with Love Island's star and podcast host Megan Barton-Hanson.
We say hello to MyViv, bringing our passion and knowledge about sexual well-being to the forefront of conversations
Giving us fanny flutters since 2019, our all time favourite brand-ambassador Marua Higgins embodies everything Ann Summers stands for.
Boots come on board to launch MyViv, available online and in 50 stores.
We launch on PLT.com as their first branded lingerie partner.
The Culture Change Committee launches, representing COLLEAGUES from all areas of our business and community, which leads to the creation of our Ann Summers Diversity & Inclusion strategy.
Our unbelievbaly badass female leadership team grace the cover of fashion industry bible, Drapers.
Lockdown means all our stores close (but you guys keep on showing us love online <3). Our Direct Selling channel boasts 20,000 ambassadors and the side hustles continue to grow.
KBX Planet launches and so does our mission to Be Bad, Do Good. Lucie Donlan is the gorgeous face of our eco-conscious range.
Feel Unique and Beauty Bay join the ever-growing list of My Viv stockists.
Mid-pandemic we launch with Missguided.
We also completed a project to become an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and Bonded Warehouse which is a status certified and granted by HMRC.
Our ground-breaking Party Plan becomes The Sisterhood - same brilliant concept, just a little more modern
Happy 30th Birthday to our all time favourite, the Rampant Rabbit. A timeless toy and still a customer favourite 30 years later.
We launch with Moonpig, stocking a range of edible novelties - just in time for some cheeky Valentine's gifts.
Asda & Sainsburys stock Ann Summers gift cards, ideal for all the last minute gifters.
Our best-selling collection has a green-makeover. Made with 30-50% of recycled materials and eco-friendly mesh, say hello to Sexy Lace Planet
Next.com stocks all your favourite Ann Summers lingerie.
In partnership with Creating Tomorrow's Forests, we planted 100 trees for World Earth Day 2021. You can find 100 Ann Summers trees in Charlotte's Wood in Somerset.
Maria Hollins is announced as sole Managing Director, Vanessa Gold is appointed CEO and Jacqueline Gold is now Executive Chair.
2022 saw us launch Fann Summers – our community platform! The perfect safe space for reviewing your favourite products, creating trending edits and even becoming a product tester. Sounds good right? Find out more here.
2022 saw us celebrate 50 years of bringing you pure pleasure and passion. Ann Summers broke out onto the high street in 1972 and we've been trailblazing ever since.
We welcomed Love Island royalty Tasha Ghouri into the AS family. She debuted in our Christmas 2022 campaign “Tease the Season…” and doesn’t she look good! Our girl Tasha Ghouri is a true triple threat - a TV star. model and influencer, who uses her platform to do all the good stuff, whether that's being a Global Ambassador for DeafKidzUK (she wears a cochlear implant herself) or becoming our campaign star.
First Mama Summers, then Fann Summers and now Mann Summers – we are taking over. Now boasting THREE series with Youtube stars Yung Filly & Harry Pinero, check them out here. Aiming to educate people on gifting and all things AS, we are so proud of the great work we have done with Wall of Entertainment. Here’s to many more series!
Every month is Pride Monday at AS HQ! We proudly supported Stonewall in 2022, featuring the groundbreaking and international charity on our windows and internal POS in all stores. £25,000 was raised across all of our stores to help the amazing work that Stonewall do. We have partnered with them again in 2023 and have pledged to raise another £25,000.
We may be biased, but there ain’t no Halloween like an Ann Summers Halloween. Halloween 2022 saw literal queues outside of our stores where all of our Hallo-queens rushed to get their fierce fits for spooky season. We had our best Halloween EVER and 2023 is shaping up to be even spookier!
We said goodbye to our beloved chairman and founder, David Gold, at the beginning of 2023. An incredible man who led an incredible life, we carry his passion in everything we do.
Valentine's Day 2023, we celebrated the power in being brilliant, badass, beautiful YOU. Our girl Tasha joined us to find out your power move because the most powerful move we can ever make is to truly love ourselves.
As well as being the year of the rabbit, 2023 was the year of coupling up! We made it official and began a love story with the one & only Love Island. We sponsored the hideaway in both the winter series and the summer series. Did you spot any of your fave AS products in the villa!?
In early 2023, we rolled out our brand-spanking-new inclusive mannequins across our top stores.
In 2016, Jacqueline was first diagnosed with breast cancer and following a year of gruelling treatment she went into remission. Unfortunately, it came back in 2019, and she battled it refusing to let it either define her. She had just started her third round of chemotherapy during this difficult journey before she passed away. Jacqueline was passionate about sharing her journey with others in the hope it would help and inspire them. Every year on her birthday, July 16th, we will celebrate JG Day and pledge to honour Jacqueline – her legacy will continue to touch the lives of everyone in the AS family and far beyond.
We see you Summer 2023! We kicked off the summer season with the gorgeous Tasha Ghouri starring in our Swim campaign – pool to party, we’ve got you covered.
We marched with Stonewall at London Pride. We also pledged to raise £25,000 across all of our stores in 2023 to proudly support Stonewall and all the amazing work they do.
Former Managing Director, Maria Hollins, is promoted to CEO of Ann Summers. This change also sees Vanessa Gold become Chair of Ann Summers and various other Gold family businesses.