Jacqueline Gold dead: Ann Summers founder of lingerie and sex toy stores dies at age 62

Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold has passed away at the age of 62, her family has announced.

The businesswoman behind the revolutionary stores died Thursday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

A family statement said: “It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirms that our wonderful Executive Chairman Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away last night with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa and brother-in-law Nick by her side.”

“Jacqueline is best known for founding Ann Summers and leading a company run by women, for women. She was also an activist for women in business, championing female entrepreneurs with the ambition to improve the working environment for women.

“From an internship to Chief Executive Officer in less than 10 years, her determination and dedication to create a unique retail offering led to the creation of a multi-channel retail chain, comprising retail stores, direct sales ambassadors and a rapidly growing online and business from third parties,” the statement continued. “It is her vision and creativity that has taken Ann Summers from an unknown brand to a British household name and stable of the British high street.

“In recognition of Jacqueline’s significant achievements throughout her 40-year career, she was awarded a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honors for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.”

It concluded by saying: “Jacqueline’s death comes just two months after the passing of her father, David Gold, the co-chairman of West Ham United FC. The thoughts and heartfelt condolences from everyone at Ann Summers are with Jacqueline’s husband Dan, daughter Scarlett and sister Vanessa at this extremely sad time.

Her sister Vanessa said: “Jacqueline bravely fought stage four breast cancer for seven years and has been an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.

Jacqueline Gold, the chief executive of Ann Summers, poses after receiving her Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal by Princess Royal, at an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on July 12, 2016

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Jacqueline Gold, Ann Summers’ managing director, poses after receiving her Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award from the Princess Royal, at an Investiture Ceremony at Windsor Castle on July 12, 2016

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“As a family, we are heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mother, sister and best friend. In life she was a pioneer, a visionary and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear.

She was made CBE in the 2016 New Year Honors for services to Entrepreneurship, Women in Business and Social Enterprise.

Gold was estimated to be the 16th richest woman in Britain. In 2019, the Sunday Times rich list estimated her worth at around £470 million.

The daughter of businessman David Gold and Beryl Hunt, she has transformed Ann Summers into a multimillion-dollar company, with 140 stores across the UK, Spain and Ireland, and an annual turnover of £100 million, according to Shopping week.

David died on January 4 at the age of 86 after a short illness. A statement from West Ham said: “It is with deep sadness that West Ham United FC confirms that our beloved co-chairman David Gold passed away on Wednesday morning after a short illness.

“David Gold, 86, passed away peacefully with his devoted daughters, Jacqueline and Vanessa, and his fiancé Lesley, by his side.”

Additional reporting by PA

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