Jacqueline Gold, Executive Who Tapped Into the Female Libido, Dies at 62

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She made Britain’s Ann Summers shops a thriving root of lingerie and enactment toys and became a relation exemplary for pistillate entrepreneurs.

Two models wearing lingerie flank a overmuch  much  elegantly (and modestly) dressed young-looking woman, successful  beforehand   of a store   with the sanction  “Ann Summers” successful  large  letters and a representation   of an pome  with a wound  retired  of it successful  beforehand   of the entrance.
Jacqueline Gold, center, with models successful 2008 extracurricular her company’s Ann Summers outlet connected Oxford Street successful London. She deed upon a caller mode to merchantability her goods, with location gatherings modeled connected Tupperware parties. Credit...Yui Mok/Press Association, via Associated Press

Neil Genzlinger

March 24, 2023, 5:53 p.m. ET

Jacqueline Gold, who aft joining her family’s corp arsenic a teen recognized that its male-oriented erotic offerings were missing an important portion of the marketplace and transformed Britain’s Ann Summers marque into a flourishing retail cognition offering women lingerie, enactment toys and more, died connected March 16 successful the region of Surrey, successful southeast England. She was 62.

A institution spokeswoman said the origin was bosom cancer.

At her decease Ms. Gold held the rubric of enforcement seat of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, a lingerie company, and was good known arsenic an advocator and relation exemplary for pistillate entrepreneurs successful Britain.

More than 50 years earlier, successful 1972, her father, David Gold, and his brother, Ralph, had bought 2 enactment shops that had been founded a twelvemonth oregon 2 earlier by the businessman Michael Caborn-Waterfield and been billed arsenic “sex supermarkets.” (He named the shops for his caput and occasional lover, Annice Summers.) By the clip Ms. Gold went to enactment for her begetter astatine 19 arsenic an bureau assistant, the institution was “dealing mostly successful top-shelf magazines for the ‘raincoat brigade,’” arsenic The Mail Online enactment it successful 2018.

“Although the caput bureau was conscionable similar immoderate different business,” Ms. Gold told The Birmingham Post of England successful 1995, “frankly, it was fundamentally tally by men. The customers were men, and that annoyed maine successful a way. I felt aggravated determination was each this for men and thing for women.”

She acceptable astir changing that, opening by updating the reasoning of the committee of directors.

“Their cognition was, ‘Women aren’t funny successful sex,’” Ms. Gold said. She proved them wrong, selling sexy lingerie, swimwear, enactment toys and novelty items to women, who, she discovered, were anxious for them. According to quality accounts of the period, by 1995 Ann Summers was selling 300,000 vibrators a year; successful aboriginal years, she said successful interviews, the fig climbed into the millions.

As she enactment it successful the 1995 interview, “That’s saying a batch for what women want.”

Among her biggest initiatives, introduced successful 1982, was the Ann Summers party, akin to a Tupperware party, wherever a big sells room products successful her home, but that the products being sold astatine an Ann Summers enactment were sex-related. She got the idea, she said, erstwhile she was invited to a Pippa Dee party, a British endeavor wherever covering was sold by the enactment hosts. When the different guests learned that she worked astatine Ann Summers, the speech took a raunchy, and festive, turn; Ms. Gold realized that it was the cleanable format for selling sexy products.

Soon determination were hundreds of Ann Summers parties a week, past thousands. The institution besides built up its web of stores; determination are present scores of them successful Britain and beyond. In 1987 Ms. Gold was made main executive.

Many of the countless paper articles astir her successful Britain implicit the decades made notation to the information that she was strikingly glamorous herself, which acceptable nicely with the representation the institution was trying to project.

“Immaculately dressed successful silk floral skirt, fabric duplicate acceptable and strappy sandals that look arsenic uncomfortable arsenic the thigh-high patent leather boots the Ann Summers concatenation sells,” The Daily Telegraph wrote successful 2002 successful a emblematic description, “she is groomed to wrong an inch of her life.”

Ms. Gold played down the glamour.

“I accidental I spot myself arsenic a feminine person,” she said successful the 1995 interrogation with The Post. “If it’s helped, it’s a coincidence. At the extremity of the day, it’s concern acumen that makes success.”


Ms. Gold successful 2003 extracurricular the Royal Court of Justice successful London. She fought, and won, a fig of tribunal fights implicit the years successful effect to attacks connected her company.Credit...Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

Jacqueline Gold was calved connected July 16, 1960, successful Beckenham, Greater London, to Mr. Gold and Beryl Hunt. She grew up successful Biggin Hill, region of Kent.

At 19 she had secured an internship astatine her father’s company.

“Forty-five pounds a week,” she said successful a biographical institution video. “I was earning little than the beverage lady.”

By the aboriginal 1980s she was connected the full-time payroll. In caller years she had go enforcement chair, and her sister, Vanessa Gold, became main executive.

Ms. Gold, who lived successful Oxted, southbound of London, joined Dan Cunningham successful 2010. In summation to him and her sister, her survivors see a daughter, Scarlett Cunningham.

Ms. Gold fought assorted battles implicit the years. When she was readying to unfastened a store successful Dublin successful 1999, determination was sizeable opposition; she said idiosyncratic sent her a slug successful the mail. She opened the store anyway. In 2002, authorities occupation centers were told to halt listing vacancies astatine Ann Summers stores; she brought a tribunal situation and won.

Ms. Gold, who was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire successful 2016 “for services to entrepreneurship, women successful concern and societal enterprise,” was sometimes criticized for joining her father’s institution adjacent though, astatine the time, its products included pornographic magazines.

“I don’t person an contented with top-shelf magazines,” she told The Sunday Express successful 2002. “There’s a request for them, and millions are sold each year. The models successful them are not exploited and person made their ain decisions. I deliberation nine is much grown-up than radical thin to assume.”

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