Ann Gladstone leaves retail legacy
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, June 24, 2002
Ann Gladstone, the inspiration for the Anna's Linens chain, passed away June 17 at the age of 85 after nearly a four-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, she got her first job in retail at age 17, during the Depression, after telling the personnel manager at Herns Department Stores a small white lie: that she had retail experience. By the time her ruse was discovered, the manager was so impressed with her ability that he would not allow the store to fire her.
After raising three children, she returned to retail, working her way up to department manager of several different department stores. Her husband, the late Frank Gladstone, was also in retail, and for a time they traveled around the country together running large retail liquidations.
In 1987, her son, Alan Gladstone, founded Anna's Linens. Mrs. Gladstone joined the company, traveling to stores to train personnel, which she did until the last several weeks of her life. It was often said that "she could turn a $5 sale into a $500 sale better than anyone."
This past March, when the company celebrated the opening of its 75th store in Las Vegas, Mrs. Gladstone worked the opening day crowd, handing out circulars as shoppers streamed into the store.
Those wishing to make donations are asked to send a check addressed to "Dr. B. Monk, ovarian cancer research, in memory of Anna Gladstone" to: UCI Foundation, UC Irvine Medical Center, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Attn: Julie Strope, 101 city Drive, Bldg. 23, Room 107, Organ, CA, 92786.
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