50 Shades of Grey boost for Ann Summers hailed by lingerie tycoon

 

Ann Summers tycoon Jacqueline Gold says the success of saucy literary hit 50 Shades of Grey has led to sales at her chain going through the roof.

The businesswoman - who is believed to be worth around £180 million - said the publishing phenomenon has helped her stores to sell out of many of their racy items.

Gold told Hello! magazine: "The whole 50 Shades phenomenon has been fantastic for Ann Summers.

"Not only have we sold out of handcuffs, jiggle balls and blindfolds, but it's opened up a lot of new doors on a business level."

The books in the 50 Shades trilogy - written by EL James - have now sold more than 14 million copies in the UK.

"What 50 Shades has done is to move erotic fiction from the back of the book store to the front and suddenly everyone wants a piece. Attitudes have changed and rightly so because why shouldn't people be able to spice up their sex lives.

"There are a lot of quite surprising potential partnerships we're negotiating at the moment - companies who would never have thought of getting involved with Ann Summers before - four of which, excitingly, are very close to fruition."

Gold, 52, chief executive of Ann Summers, moved into a new home in Surrey with her city trader husband Dan Cunningham, 17 years her junior. And she said she has had to spend a considerable sum on beefing up security after she and her husband were informed there was "a significant threat" against them, although she would not give any further detail.

She now has 24-hour security guard patrols on the property, and there are surveillance cameras all around.

"We were not taking any chances and have everything you could possibly have security wise to ensure the property is watertight.

"I'd be surprised if there was a house in Surrey as secure as this one," she said.

The full interview is in the new issue of Hello! magazine which is out now.

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