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Lovehoney moves onto the high street through Coco de Mer purchase

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Sex toy etailer Lovehoney has moved onto the high street with the purchase of Coco de Mer, the upmarket erotic retailer founded by Sam Roddick.

As a result of the deal, Lovehoney, a £13.4m turnover company that says it sells one in every three sex toys bought in the UK, now has two shops – in Covent Garden and Brompton Cross. The company says the acquisition gives it the chance to develop Coco de Mer as “the world’s leading luxury ethical erotic brand.” It will also extend its range of own-brand products for sale both in the UK and further afield in Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. Coco de Mer’s celebrity clients include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Russell Brand and it stocks brands including Stella McCartney and Fleur of England.

Lovehoney has been trading since 2002, a year less than its new acquisition, and was founded by Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst (pictured). For the last three years it has grown sales by 30%, year on year. In the year to March 2011, it turned over £13.4m, making pre-tax profits of £1.1m.

Longhurst said: “Over the past 10 years Sam has made Coco de Mer a uniquely powerful proposition and her dedication to promoting a frank and open discussion about the enjoyment of sex has been uncompromising. We’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop Sam’s groundbreaking work and make Coco de Mer the world’s leading luxury erotica brand.”

Coco de Mer founder Sam Roddick, daughter of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, will continue to advise Lovehoney on product development and positioning, in an informal role. She said: “I believe that in their hands Coco de Mer will continue to offer customers a unique and highly personalised experience, a wide array of exclusive and ethical products as well access to information for those who don’t follow the conventions of mainstream society.”

The deal was created and negotiated by Ranjit Singh, chif executive of Coco de Mer, brought into the company a year ago to restructure it ahead of a sale. He said: “The synergy between the two brands is undeniable and I have no doubt Coco de Mer, under the control of Lovehoney, will go from strength to strength.”

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