The retail industry was mourning one of its leading analysts and biggest personalities this week, after the death of Seymour Pierce vice chairman Richard “Ratty” Ratner.
Ratner was best known for his deep understanding of the sector, his mischievous personality and his witty and cutting broker notes. He died on Sunday aged 58, following a heart attack. Ratner had worked at Seymour Pierce for 10 years and had one of his most famous moments last year when he issued a note predicting the worst Christmas for 25 years.
Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green led the tributes. “I spoke to him at least once a day and he enjoyed the banter,” he said. “I can never remember him being in a bad mood, despite the hard job and tough hours.”
Neil Williams, operations director at French Connection, said: “He was forthright and accurate, but also a jolly person. He had a great understanding of the industry and brought charm and amusement to it.”
Mosaic Fashions chief executive Derek Lovelock said: “Ratty was really supportive of Oasis and Jacques Vert – I know he was, because he christened me Uncle Derek for reasons only known to himself. I will sorely miss him as a person.”
Peacocks chief executive Richard Kirk said: “Ratty was a lovely man. He used to call me ‘the man with the scruffy beard’. When I met them all for lunch once, they turned up wearing fake beards.”
Ratner was always on hand at analyst meetings – often stuffy affairs – to liven them up. asos“>Asos.com chief executive Nick Robertson said: “He was always first to ask a question and had an obsession with mezzanine floors – the only logistical question he knew to ask. His jokes were great – none of which are fit to be printed.”
Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin, who used to make bespoke suits for Ratner, said: “He always used to ask me how Ted’s mother was. He joked that she was the one that ran the business and I was just the frontman.”