Ann Summers keeps design affairs in-house

Ann Summers is looking in-house to help it weather the high street retail sales slump in the lead-up to Christmas.

The lingerie and sex aids chain will roll out its next project, a campaign called Hotel, over the next six months across its UK network of 132 stores.

The campaign, which includes retail design, visual merchandising, point-of-sale and graphic design, print, editorial and packaging touchpoints was led by Ann Summers head of design Jon Harris, with help from head of visual merchandising Sam Eddleston.

‘The market is tough, and design is absolutely fundamental to driving high street sales,’ says Ann Summers marketing and business development director Julian Baker.

Ann Summers rarely appoints external design consultancies, preferring to work with its in-house team of seven retail and graphics designers and four digital designers.

‘We work with specialists in the skills that we don’t have internally,’ says Baker. ‘We recently used The One Off for some Knickerbox branding work (, 5 June), but in general we prefer to keep our learning in-house. We get far better value for money and a far better result at the end of it.’

Harris says, ‘The Hotel set build and all the props were based on my designs, allowing us to fully justify the original vision for the campaign’.

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