Sadly, Gerald Ratner is known by many people as the man who was so honest about his business that he had to resign as executive director and the company had to rebrand itself in order to survive. However, there is so much more to this highly motivational speaker than the man who made one fateful speech.
Ratner’s Jewellery was a chain of high-street stores that provided discount jewellery that proved extremely popular with the British public (others in the group were H Samuel, Zales and Watches of Switzerland). Based on his own experiences as a child on Petticoat Lane’s market in London, the Ratner’s company ethos was to offer the very best deals on jewellery. The plan worked to the extent that the firm went from being a family business with a few stores to turning over £120m via nearly 2,500 outlets, including 1,000 in the USA.
If nothing else, the impact of Gerald Ratner’s speech in 1991 underlined the impact that his words could have on markets. His company’s value sunk by around £500m virtually overnight – literally the day after announcing profits of £120m – when he said its stores could sell items for such low prices because they were “total crap”. Singling out gold earrings sold for 99p in Ratner’s stores, he said that while someone had pointed out they were cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks & Spencers, Gerald said the sandwich “would probably last longer than the earrings”.
In later life, Gerald Ratner set up a health centre in Oxfordshire and is now a highly valued motivational speaker. As well as being able to hold himself up as a perfect example of getting it right in the business world, he inspires audiences with how he could put the bad times behind him and move on to become a respected and extremely effective business person.
To book motivational speaker Gerald Ratner for your next private event, corporate event or conference contact Champions Motivational Speakers via our online form or call us on +44 1509 85 29 27.
- Retail Speaker
- Business Speaker
- Overcoming Adversity
- Branding Expertise
“Gerald was excellent. We have no hesitation in recommending him.” – Toyota