March 2. 2024. 2:00

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Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold dies aged 62

Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold has died at the age of 62, her family said.

The British businesswoman died on Thursday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

A family statement said: “It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa, and brother-in-law Nick, by her side.”

Her sister Vanessa said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.

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“In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear.

“As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister and best friend.”

Ms Gold was best known for leading lingerie brand Ann Summers and growing the retailer into a familiar sight on UK high streets.

The brand was developed by David and Ralph Gold, her father and uncle, after snapping up the retailer’s early business following liquidation in 1972.

In 1981, Ms Gold first joined the business on an internship.

She then launched the Ann Summers party to grow the brand.

About ten years later, Ms Gold was then made a director of the business before swiftly being named as its chief executive.

She continued to lead the business, which has 81 stores, in recent years as executive chair alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now chief executive officer.

She was made a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

Ms Gold’s death comes just two months after that of her father David, the joint-chairman of West Ham United, at the age of 86. – PA