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Gerald Ratner is a British household name and a well-known businessman. He is also a name associated with one of the business world’s biggest falls from grace.
Gerald Ratner took over as CEO of the family jewellery chain in the mid 80s, becoming one of Britain’s best known businessmen.
He transformed it from 130 stores with sales of £13m, to a public company with 2,500 stores and sales of over £1.2bn. By 1990, Ratner’s was the world’s largest jewellery retailer with profits in excess of £120m.
Following a high profile gaffe in which he described one of the products sold in the stores as ‘total crap’, he spent 18 months trying to do damage control but was eventually forced out of the business.
Gerald eventually bought and developed a health club which he sold 3 years later for £3.9m -this was the start of his comeback. He then started his online jewellery business, GeraldOnline which today is turning over some £25m