Ann Summers is one of the UK's leading pleasure retailers for women, operating three successful sales channels: Party Plan, Retail and Ecommerce. Ann Summers is the sexiest brand for sexy women (and their men!)offering a unique combination of ways to buy - the obvious go-to brand for all things sexy!
Jacqueline Gold is one of Britain's most successful businesswomen. As Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, she's become known as the "woman responsible for bringing sex to the high street".
But Jacqueline can also take responsibility for making the Ann Summers family business one of the most profitable private companies in the UK with a gross annual sales turnover at over £150 million - earning her a place in Britain's 100 Most Influential Women.
By her own admission, Jacqueline's had no formal business training, but it's turned out to be her strength. "It forced me to rely on feedback from my staff and customers." And it's this success that's made Jacqueline an inspiration to thousands of women determined to emulate her business achievements. "The best piece of advice I could ever give is be true to yourself. As a woman you should never compromise your femininity or create an aggressive stereotype in order to emulate your male counterparts - it's not necessary."
Jacqueline's inspiring business journey began at the age of 21. While working at her father's business she saw the potential in taking lingerie and sex toys to women in their homes and creating the Ann Summers' Party.
Learning the hard way, Jacqueline worked her way through the ranks before being made Chief Executive in 1987 and creating an empire run by women, for women.
Ann Summers now boasts a sales force of more than 7,500 women as party organisers, and now has more than 130 high street stores in the UK, Ireland, and the Channel Islands and one in Spain. 2008 will see the opening of a further five branches of Ann Summers across the UK.
When Jacqueline bought Knickerbox in February 2000 it had losses of £5m, it is now one of the highstreets most successful brands. The takeover of Knickerbox added another 26 stores to the Ann Summers' group, plus franchises in Ireland, Iceland and Denmark. "I'm an opportunist - I do not let myself become too bogged down in business plans which can restrict you being entrepreneurial."
Among Jacqueline's many accolades, she's been voted the second Most Powerful Woman in Retail by Retail Week, the Most Inspirational Businesswoman in the UK (Barclays Bank), one of Britain's Business Icons (Nat West Bank), and one of Britain's Top Businesswomen by publications including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Woman, and Good Housekeeping.
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