People before profits
Established in November 1978, until May 2019, Richer Sounds was 100% owned by Julian Richer, our Founder and MD.
On 10th May 2019 Julian passed 60% of his shares into an Employee Owned Trust, giving all employees an indirect stake in the business in perpetuity, as well as, quite separately, a £1000 celebratory bonus for every year they had worked (excl. board directors), the latter from his own pocket – a gift to his loyal team of an average of £8000 each, in total almost £4M.
As an employee controlled trust, it is a diverse, customer-orientated team, united by a passion for music and movies. The stores contain a remarkable number of budding musicians, DJs, and film buffs, fanatical about great sound and vision. The recruitment is based on natural friendliness, rather than high-pressure sales skills. All the teams are audio-visual enthusiasts and experts (seriously – they train themselves on new products continuously). They’re here to find a perfect match to your needs and budget, big or small, and to think of the things you may have missed, enhancing your overall home entertainment experience.
Julian Richer (born 1959) is an English retail entrepreneur, philanthropist and author, best known as the founder and Managing Director of Richer Sounds, the UK's largest hi-fi retailer. Richer has gained a reputation for his motivational style of management and his philanthropic and charitable activities.
“If you treat your people right, then of course they’re going to be happier and give better service, and they’re going to stay with you, and they’re not going to steal", according to Julian Richer with an interview with BBC Radio.
Richer made the same argument in a 2001 book called The Richer Way: How to Get the Best Out of People and another one in 2018, The Ethical Capitalist: How to Make Business Work Better for Society.