Hi-Fi founder gives staff a richer future

The founder of Richer Sounds is celebrating his 60th birthday by turning the company into an Employee Ownership Trust

By Jenny Wrightson, founder and managing director, Just Recruitment Group Ltd

The founder and managing director of Richer Sounds has announced that he is giving 60 per cent of the company to his employees.

Julian Richer, who founded the business in 1978 at the age of 19, said that the time was right to establish an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) and pass control to its workforce.

    ...Mr Richer announced that he would share a large portion of the £9.2m windfall he stands to receive from the transfer.  

In a further act of goodwill, Mr Richer announced that he would share a large portion of the £9.2m windfall he stands to receive from the transfer.

Each member of the Richer Sounds team will receive £1,000 for every year spent with the company. For the average employee, that equates to a gift of £8,000, but The Guardian reports that some staff will receive as much as £20,000.

Talking about his reasons for the move, Mr Richer said that turning 60 was a major motivator. His father died at that age, and the entrepreneur wants to establish a new ownership structure for his company in good time.

As well as their altruistic character, Employee Ownership Trusts bring a number of benefits to businesses. According to the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), around 350 companies in the UK have adopted the structure, with 50 more expected to convert soon.

As a result, they benefit from more engaged staff, improved productivity and better employee retention.

This is certainly what we’ve experienced at Just Recruitment since becoming an EOT in December 2017. Our staff now have a genuine stake in the business. Its success is their success, and they feel as if they can shape the future.

For us, the move to employee ownership felt entirely natural. I founded the company in 1983 and have thoroughly enjoyed leading it through nearly four decades of growth.

But it’s always been the case that Just Recruitment’s people are instrumental to its success. Even before we became an EOT, they committed to achieving our goals and establishing a thriving business throughout East Anglia.

For me, then, employee ownership was as much about rewarding loyalty as inspiring employees for the future. It looks like Julian Richer feels the same: he’s always prided himself on having a happy team, where people feel valued and well cared for. Transferring ownership of his business to his staff is a logical next step.

    If you have a business that depends on the commitment and dedication of your people, it pays to show them that they are valued.  

With 53 stores and annual sales of nearly £200m, Richer Sounds is already a thriving concern. It has successfully bucked the trend towards online retail and puts great stock on the power of a face-to-face encounter with customers.

That is why the company has always looked after its staff, as we have always tried to do at Just Recruitment. If you have a business that depends on the commitment and dedication of your people, it pays to show them that they are valued. As well as being the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.

Employee ownership enshrines the right sort of relationship between an employer and their staff. It shows that a company’s success is a shared endeavour, by giving its people a direct stake. They can influence its destiny and benefit from its achievements.

I greatly look forward to seeing how Richer Sounds develops in the years ahead, as a high-profile model of employee ownership. If Mr Richer’s experience of handing over control to his team is anything like mine, he’ll be in for an inspiring, rejuvenating and empowering time.

Published: 22 May 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you liked this article, you may enjoy: Acknowledging that a child has grown up is never easy

You may also want to read: What place does ethics have in business?

Jobs currently available

Driver
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £18,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909015
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a driver to join a large and well-established business, with multiple branches across the UK.

This position will be based at their Chelmsford branch.

The role involves delivering various items to locations in and around the Chelmsford area.

You must have a full clean driving licence and have experience of driving either transit or LWB vans.

Working Hours:

  • 45 per week Mon-Fri 7:30 - 5 plus 2 Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) per month - paid at overtime rates!

Bonuses:

  • Salary Negotiable.
  • Attendance bonus scheme.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Shared profit scheme.
  • Uniform and PPE provided.

Duties will include:

  • Deliveries in and around Chelmsford
  • Assisting with various warehouse duties
  • Proving a friendly service to customers and other staff whilst out on the road and within the branch as and when required.
  • Working with the team to ensure the branch runs smoothly and customers are delighted with the service.

In order to be considered for this role you must have worked in a similar role, have excellent IT skills and a good telephone manner.

This is a great opportunity to join an organisation that promotes from within, provides extra training and development and further company benefits.

Read more
Workshop Technician/Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £17,500 - £27,000 per annum
Location: Hadleigh
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909014
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Workshop Technician/Mechanic on behalf of a leading independent parts specialists based on the outskirts of Sudbury, Suffolk.

Salary;

  • £17,500 - £27,000 depending on experience.

Great working environment in a high-spec workshop with heating and insulated flooring, to ensure employees are comfortable all year round.

Duties include:

  • Repair and refurbish motors and gearboxes.
  • Stripping down engines.
  • Disassemble and fix parts.
  • Complete root-cause analysis.

Benefits;

  • 23 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  • Free parking.
  • Profit share scheme, available after probation.
  • Medical scheme, available after probation.
  • PPE provided including boots and company branded tshirts / fleeces.
  • Training courses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a great company offering lots of progression and excellent benefits.

Candidates must drive due to the location of the company, and will occasionally be required to drive company vehicles.

 

 

Read more
Business Development & Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909013
About the role

Are you looking to work for an exciting new start-up business offering a great opportunity for you to grow?

Have you worked to targets, and enjoy selling?

Just Recruitment  is delighted to be recruiting for an Account Manager for our client based in Witham.

The role of the Account Manager is to build and develop relationships with new members, working with them throughout their one month free trial and ultimately upgrading them to a paying member.

There will be no cold calling in this role, all leads have come to express their interest!

If you love working in a team, talking to new people, have worked in sales before and have good verbal and written skills then this could be the role for you!

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday.

 

 

 

Read more
Legal Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Clacton on Sea
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909000
About the role

Just Recruitment is excited to be recruiting for one of the East of England’s longest established Legal Firms.

Operating for over 250 years, they are a full-service law firm, which has doubled in sized over the past four years, and they are looking to expand further by hiring a new Legal Secretary for their Clacton branch.

They are looking for someone with experience of;

  • Electronic diary management.
  • Telephone liaison.
  • Front of house/reception duties.
  • Digital transcription systems.
  • Using accounts software.
  • Various other clerical and administrative duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working as a Legal Secretary, with a genuine passion for building a career within the law.

They must also have fast typing speeds and the ability to multi-task effectively.

In return you will receive;

  • A competitive salary.
  • 20 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • As well as a whole host of other benefits.
Read more