50 Shades of Waste

There are some unique challenges dealing with waste for Ann Summers.


50 Shades of Waste
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Ann Summers is a British multinational retailer specialising in sex toys and lingerie with 140 high street stores in the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands. in 2000 Ann Summers acquired the Knickerbox brand with its emphasis on comfortable and feminine underwear as a counter point to the more overtly sexual style of the Ann Summers brand. In 2011-2012 the chain had a turnover of £117.7 million.


The waste from the 140 UK stores is substantial and by 2010 it had become a significant administrative burden that was costing the company time and money while diverting management resource away from the core business. Helistrat presented a total, end-to-end waste management solution that improved service levels, increased recycling to 95% and reduced operational costs. In November 2012 Ann Summer’s HQ, Gold Group House, was taken zero waste to landfill. The partnership between Ann Summers and Helistrat continues to grow and Helistrat is now looking to turn waste from a cost into a revenue.

“Prior to our partnership with Helistrat, our waste was being handled by more than 60 separate contractors. This was a major administrative headache that meant monitoring service levels, resolving performance issues and ensuring value for money was an almost impossible task.

We appointed Helistrat to produce a complete waste management solution that would remove the noise. Within weeks of being appointed they had seamlessly and expertly unified waste management arrangements across our retail estate; driving down costs while noticeably improving service levels to our portfolio of 140 stores.

Helistrat has also been working with us to improve waste handling and recycling at our Head Office and Distribution Centre, where their expertise and hands-on approach rapidly reduced our operating costs and took our recycling levels up to 95% and ultimately to zero waste to landfill. We are now working with Helistrat to implement further improvements aimed at turning waste management from an overhead into a revenue.”

Andrew Porter, Head of Facilities UK, Ann Summers


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