26 January 2021

THE INFAMOUS head of what was once the UK’s leading high street jewellery chain is to share his secrets on how he rebuilt his empire with Sunderland businesses.

Gerald Ratner was the CEO of the Ratners Group, which in the 80s and early 90s had a jewellery store in virtually every town and city in the country.

However, after making a well-publicised speech in which he disparaged some of his products the multi-million pound business collapsed virtually overnight.

In the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity, the entrepreneur has gone on to further success – and now he plans to inspire Sunderland companies which might also be currently facing huge challenges.

Sunderland BID has engaged Mr Ratner to be a guest speaker at their first ever virtual business lunch, which will take place via Zoom on Friday 26 February.

The businessman will talk honestly about his fall from grace and how he then went on to create the UK’s most successful online jewellery store.

“Our business lunches have always been very popular but we have had to put them on hold over the past year,” said Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID.

“But we felt that this is such an important time for businesses to be inspired that we have organised our first online lunch.

“Gerald Ratner is well known for being a fantastic and entertaining speaker but at the same time should also be able to give our guests some food for thought under the current circumstances.”

The event – which will run from noon until 2pm – will also include a number of virtual networking sessions plus a lunch which will be delivered to participants in advance.

There is a small cost per person of £10 which will cover the cost of lunch, provided by local businesses. Further information or bookings can be made by contacting Bernice Saltzer at [email protected]