The first Ann Summers store in Wardour St was acquired by the Gold brothers. The store was given to them as a debt payment from business man Dandy Waterfield.
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.
In 1980 we opened our 6th Ann Summers store.
David Gold's daughter Jacqueline joined the business as an intern. She went to a Tupperware party that gave her one hell of an idea. The Ann Summers Party was born.
The first Ann Summers catalogue! The start of a British institution and better sex for all. The sex maniac finally had somewhere to write their secrets and Motion Lotion, the Pencil Vibrator and the Flasher's Apron gave giggles and 'gasms across the country.
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.
Jacqueline Gold's right hand woman – Julie Harris – attended her 1st Party Plan party and gradually worked her way up to become Managing Director.
The year we inspired Game of Thrones. The medieval takeover complete with maidens, masks and the Monte Carlo wet-look evening dress. Ann Summers was the brand for women to look and feel sexy – from lingerie and toys to nightwear, swimwear and apparel.
We took female empowerment to out visual merchandising and store design. 1993 saw our first, hugely successful 'pink concept' store opened in Queensway, London. These stores were designed to be more female friendly and resulted in a 50% increase in turnover.
In 1994 Ann Summers monopolised the gay capital of the UK and naturally, took it by storm. Brighton; we have arrived!
In 1995 it wasn't just our toys providing good vibrations; Jacqueline Gold's book Good Vibrations, launched and was featured in the Ann Summers catalogue. The mid nineties got naughty with unique, weird and wonderful toys like the squirting and alien dildos and twice as sexy with the first plus size collection.
1998 was Sex and The City acknowledge the success of the Rampant Rabbit – we had officially hopped across the pond. The bunny theme made its way to lingerie and in the same year we sold fluffy trimmed bodies – we're so cute.
On the cusp of the millennium we began trading online. Welcome to the technological age of annsummers.com
We expanded our lingerie empire by taking over Knickerbox and opening our first store in Ireland. The Dublin store caused controversy and on the day the shop launched, Jacqueline Gold received a bullet in the post with a threatening note warning her not to proceed. As a strong and determined business woman she went ahead regardless and the shop was an instant success.
We like a challenge. This time Jacqueline took the government to court for banning the advertisement of jobs at Ann Summers in job centres. She won, of course.
Our brand is built on a solid foundation of strong women, strong morals and girl power.
Our second store in Ireland opened in Cork, this time with the support of locals. We also encouraged everyone to 'have fun with his plums' and donated 50p from every sale of passion fruit massage oil to the Everyman Campaign. Fruity.
Ann Summers goes international. The first European Ann Summers opened in Valencia, Spain. Holla!!
In 2008 we stepped up our game and opened our flagship store on Oxford St, London.
Vanessa Gold became Managing Director and worked hard to move the brand forward. She did her research in disguise for channel 4's Undercover Boss - an episode which became one of the most watched in the series as everyone wanted to see inside Ann.
Jacqueline founded #WOW Championing Working Women, an organisation which recognises the achievements of women in business and supports start-ups through her #WOW twitter campaign.
Stores were re-designed to the current 'black concept' style, which provides an elegant, glossy, sexy destination for our customers.
What a year. We partnerned with Shop Direct adding wholesale to our bangin' business model.
Speaking of models, with the help of ITV we searched the nation for a real woman to be the face of our next campaign. Winner Lucy Moore models our plus size range today – we're always championing the sisterhood.
Ann Summers and Relate join forces to conduct a sex census - a survey conducted to find out what really happens under the sheets. Over 20,000 people completed the census and it remains one of the most in depth surveys of it's kind. They don't call us the sexperts for nothing.
Lingerie with a label. We collaborated with fashion designer heavy weight, Giles Deacon and the fabulous news was announced on Vogue.co.uk.
OMG. 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.
Our in house experts developed the Moregasm collection featuring Climax Technology – our most powerful sex toy motor yet. These intensely incredible vibrations shook up goody drawers forever and were endorsed by Dr Christian Jessen. The nation's prescription was multiple orgasms with a money back guarantee. Damn we're good.
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.
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.
To top off a successful year, our inspirational CEO Jacqueline Gold is recognised in the New Year's honours list with a CBE. You may curtsy if you wish.
OH MY BLOG! The Ann Summers blog is launched and is the destination for behind the scenes news, expert tips, fashion features and everything you want to know about sex and relationships.
ITV release prime time fictional series Brief Encounters, inspired by Jacqueline's autobiography Good Vibrations. The fictional drama follows six women in 1982 who become Ann Summers party planners and represent the pioneers of female sexual liberation, exploration and women in business. 44 years later we are still flying the flag, loud and proud.