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Gerald Ratner

after dinner

Former CEO of Ratners and Retail Speaker

Gerald Ratner is a British businessman and a retail speaker and after dinner speaker, best known for his gaffe that pushed his family jewellery business to near bankruptcy.

Gerald Ratner was the Chief Executive of Ratners Group, the world’s largest jewellery retail company when he was asked to speak at an event at the Albert Hall for the Institute of Directors in 1991. During his speech, he described one of his products as total crap.

Having successfully taken over his family’s jewellery business in 1984 and grown it to 2,500 stores, 25,000 employees, annual sales of 1.2 billion and profits of 121 million by 1990, his gaffe plummeted the value of Ratner’s by around £500million and nearly resulted in its bankruptcy.

Since then Gerald has learned his lessons and bounced back and has built an American business from scratch and now has over 1000 shops in the USA becoming one of the few UK retailers to succeed on the other side of the Atlantic. He has recently expanded the business into India. He also runs the UK’s largest online jewelry business – Gerald Online.


As an after-dinner speaker Gerald entertains his audiences with tales of his wild, up and down roller coaster ride in business, in his inimitable humorous and erudite style and what lessons he has learned and what not to do in business and how to bounce back.


Overcoming Adversity