Jacqueline Gold

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Jacqueline Gold
Jacqueline Gold -London -9june2008.jpg
Jacqueline Gold (centre) at a photo shoot, New Oxford Street, London.
Born (1960-07-16) 16 July 1960 (age 54)
Bromley, Kent, England[1]
Occupation Business executive
Parent(s) David Gold (father)

Jacqueline S Gold (born 16 July 1960) is an English businesswoman who is Chief Executive of the Gold Group International companies Ann Summers and Knickerbox. She is the 16th richest woman in Britain.[2]

Early life[edit]

Gold was born on 16 July 1960, the daughter of Beryl Hunt and businessman David Gold.[3] Her father ran a publishing business which was responsible for bringing sex magazines to the high street. David wept when Jacqueline was born to his first wife, because he wanted a son.[4] She grew up in a large house on three levels with a large garden and a swimming pool in Biggin Hill, Greater London.[5] In August 2007 she was the main participant of the second episode of the BBC Radio 4 series, The House I Grew Up In, in which she described an unhappy childhood.[5] Her parents separated when she was twelve years old.

Business career[edit]

After school Jacqueline began working at Royal Doulton, but decided she did not want to go into management, and asked her father to gain extra work experience. Having acquired the four stores of the "Ann Summers" chain in 1972, her father gave Jacqueline, at the age of nineteen, summer work experience in May 1979 – Jacqueline was paid £45 a week, less than the tea lady.[6]

Jacqueline also didn't like the atmosphere at "Ann Summers", which was David Gold's "up market" clean sex shop. Gold says of her introduction: "It wasn't a very nice atmosphere to work in. It was all men, it was the sex industry as we all perceive it to be." But a chance invitation and visit to a Tupperware party in an east London flat in 1981 changed everything – Jacqueline saw the potential of selling sexy lingerie and sex toys to women in the privacy of their own homes.[5] Jacqueline launched the Ann Summers Party Plan – a home marketing plan for sex toys, with a strict "no men allowed" policy. These parties were and remain popular, providing women with an excuse to meet for a party and talk about sex, and have entered British popular culture. They also provided the company with a way of circumventing the law which limited their presentation space for sex toys.[7]

Jacqueline Gold was made Chief Executive of Ann Summers in 1987, and transformed it into a multi-million pound business, with a sales force today of over 7,500 women as party organisers; 136 high street stores in the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands; with an annual turnover of £117 million in 2008[8] with large falls in sales and profits in recent years. The reported sales for the period 2006/7[9] were £110 million, which have fallen to 2002/3 levels[7][10] levels. The takeover of Knickerbox in 2000 added another five stores, with Knickerbox concessions in every Ann Summers store.

Her autobiography Good Vibrations was published in 1995 (Pavilion Books), with a second book A Woman's Courage published in April 2007 (Ebury), which led to Jaqueline being sued by a former employee for libel.[11] A Woman's Courage was withdrawn from sale in November 2008 having been republished by Ebury on 7 February 2008 with three pages removed and re-titled 'Please Make it Stop'. The High Court libel action was settled in August 2009 when the former employee was paid costs and substantial damages. She is a columnist for Retail Week, New Business, Kent Business, and Women Mean Business.


In 2007 Jacqueline was voted the second Most Powerful Woman in Retail by Retail Week, the Most Inspirational Businesswoman in the UK in a survey by Barclays Bank and handbag.com, one of Britain's Most Powerful Women by many publications including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Woman magazines, one of Britain's 100 Most Influential Women by the Daily Mail, Business Communicator of the Year 2004,[12] and was made a new entry in Debrett's People of Today 2005 for her contribution to British society.

Jacqueline has been the subject of several documentaries including Back to the Floor (which was filmed at a former business prior to its closure),[13] Ann Summers Uncovered, So What Do You Do All Day, Break with the Boss, and co-presented the daytime business series Mind your own business on BBC One. She has also appeared on the ITV1 show Fortune – Million Pound Giveaway[14] and in 2007, she was one of 12 well known individuals to serve as a jury in a fictional rape case in the BBC TV project The Verdict, the show received a number of mixed reviews[15]

Charitable activity[edit]

Gold arriving at Upton Park, 2011

Jacqueline participated in a celebrity edition of The Apprentice to raise money for charity.[16] Sport Relief Does The Apprentice is part of the BBC's annual charity initiative and aired on 12 and 14 March 2008.

The other celebrities on 'The Girls' team were Clare Balding, Louise Redknapp, Kirstie Allsopp and Lisa Snowdon. The Girls won the contest raising over £400,000 from ticket sales and sales on the night of the big event at their shop based in the West End of London.

In May 2007, Jacqueline and her sister Vanessa took part in the justgiving.com charity moonwalk in Hyde Park, London[17]

Personal life[edit]

Gold has levelled charges of sexual abuse against her stepfather, claiming he abused her at the family home from when she was twelve to fifteen years old.[5] After an early failed marriage to an Ann Summers dancer, her partner was money market dealer, Dan Cunningham, still in his twenties.[18] The couple split on New Years Day 2006, after three failed IVF attempts.[19][20] They subsequently reunited and became engaged, and had twins, a boy and a girl, in May 2009.[21] Their son, Alfie, who was born with alobar holoprosencephaly, died on 17 January 2010.[22] In December 2010 a nanny working for Gold was charged with trying to poison her with screenwash. 33-year-old Allison Cox who had been caring for Gold's daughter, Scarlett, was charged with three counts of administering poison with intent to annoy.[2] In March 2011 Cox was jailed for twelve months after admitting administering poison with intent to annoy. Guildford Crown Court heard Cox was trying to get the chef who prepared the soup into trouble by lacing two bowls of asparagus soup with screenwash on 5 October 2010.[23]


  1. ^ Search general register office (GRO)birth records 1761–2006 | Fully indexed birth records | Findmypast.co.uk
  2. ^ a b Moore-Bridger, Benedict (24 December 2010). "Nanny accused of poisoning Ann Summers boss with screenwash". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Debrett's People of Today 2005 (18 ed.). Debrett's. p. 631. ISBN 1-870520-10-6. 
  4. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5220856.stm ,BBC News, 22 August 2006
  5. ^ a b c d "The House I Grew Up In, featuring Jacqueline Gold". The House I Grew Up In. 2007-08-13. BBC Radio 4. 
  6. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5220856.stm, BBC News, 22 August 2006
  7. ^ a b Ann Summers
  8. ^ Ann Summers co-founder steps back
  9. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/08/21/cnann121.xml ,Telegraph, 21 August 2007
  10. ^ http://www.annsummers.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TopCategoriesDisplay?storeId=10001 ,Ann Summers website 2006
  11. ^ PressDisplay.com – Newspapers From Around the World
  12. ^ Jacqueline Gold was the CiB's Communicator of the Year in 2004
  13. ^ http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/biz/Jobs-fear-at-saucy-lingerie.1215807.jp ,The Portsmouth News, 7 October 2005
  14. ^ Jacqueline Gold Joins the new ITV gameshow – Speakers Corner
  15. ^ .http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329684790-103677,00.html ,The Guardian, 13 January 2007
  16. ^ "Jacqueline Gold to appear in Sport Relief Does The Apprentice for charity", Charities Aid Foundation, 28 February 2008. Retrieved on 2008-02-29.
  17. ^ http://www.justgiving.com/jacquelinegold ,Justgiving.com
  18. ^ Barbara Ellen. Brits? 'I sell 2.5m vibrators every year'. The Observer, 11 December 2005
  19. ^ Simon Garfield. 'The abuse wasn't about sex. It was about control'. The Observer, 15 April 2007
  20. ^ Sally Brook. We couldn't have children, The Sun, 20 March 2007
  21. ^ Gordon, Jane (10 December 2009). "Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold: 'We adore both our children, but Alfie’s suffering makes me angry and frightened'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  22. ^ Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold mourns baby son – Mirror Online
  23. ^ "Nanny jailed over poisoning bid on Ann Summers boss". BBC. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.