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Gerald Ratner inherited his father’s jewellery business and within six years he had turned a Petticoat lane retailer into a multi-million pound empire with over two thousand stores and sales of more than a billion pounds.
Then came Ratner’s infamous speech of 1991 to the Institute of Directors. The event at Royal Albert Hall was attended by thousands. At the last moment he inserted a couple of jokes including: ‘we sell a pair of gold earrings for under a pound, which is cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks & Spencer. But I have to say that the sandwich will probably last longer than the earrings’.
Denigrating his own products, in a few moments Ratner undid a life’s work. Five hundred million pounds was wiped instantly from the value of his empire. After being forced to resign and re-brand, in 2003 he recovered, re-invented, and launched geraldonline.com specialising in jewellery, branded watches and hallmarked gold and silver at budget prices. The new venture became the largest of its kind in Britain – a demonstration of Ratner’s perseverence, skill, and determination.
Today Gerald Ratner talks candidly on how to deal with such adversity and how to carry on. He is a very popular keynote and after dinner speaker with a wealth of experience and wit. The story is an inspiration – and a bit of a lesson.
Contact Gerald Ratner via a Specialist Speakers agent on 0203 002 4125 for speaking in both in-person and virtual settings.
For speaking enquiries or to book Gerald Ratner please call us on +44 (0)1455 633 289 or email Specialist Speakers