Entrepreneur Jacqueline Gold, who has just died, took four seedy backstreet sex shops and transformed the Ann Summers lingerie and sex toy brand into a multimillion-pound retail empire, playing a key role in the sexual liberation of British women and the high street.
When she took the company over in her late twenties it was a male oriented business – staff and customers – but she trailblazed the idea of using a direct sales model based on Tupperware parties, where vibrators were sold to small groups of women within their homes. When she put forward the idea to her all-male board they resisted, saying ‘Women aren’t even interested in sex.’ She described the move as taking “the company from the raincoat brigade to a female institution”.
She was made a CBE in 2016 for services to women in business and social enterprise and died recently after a long battle with cancer.
She was born 16 July 1960 and had a fascinatingly illuminating chart. She was a Sun Cancer which sign is ambitious and creative, female-oriented but more significantly has a nose for public trends. Added to that she had a defiant Uranus in a courageous and uncompromising square to Mars in determined Taurus as well as in an adventurous risk-taking trine to Jupiter. Even more to the point she had Neptune in Scorpio almost certainly opposition a tactile Moon in Taurus squaring onto a flamboyant Venus in Leo. All the strands of her temperament came together to make an oddball success of an offbeat business.