Founder Julian Richer transferred 60% of his shares into a John Lewis-style trust.
Julian Richer, who founded Richer Sounds in 1978 when he was 19, handed the company’s 500-plus employees a 60% stake in 2019. The shares will be placed in a John Lewis-style Employee Ownership Trust. The company will pay Richer an initial £9.2m for the stake, but £3.5m of that is being given back to staff, who will receive £1,000 for every year they have worked for the firm.
With annual sales of nearly £200m, Richer Sounds is one of the biggest UK companies to embrace employee ownership in recent years. The Guardian reported: “Richer Sounds, which has 53 stores, refuses to use zero-hours contracts and is one of the 14% of companies with a pay gap that favours women. Employee perks include access to company holiday homes around the world, including in European cities such as Paris, Venice and Barcelona. It donates 15% of profits, which last year stood at £9.6m, to charity.”
Tags Employee ownership
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Start inclusive ownership funds
An economic heartbeat that transfers the ownership and control of businesses to workers and other key stakeholders.
Launch a Co-operative Development Agency
A network of support and capacity building to develop and extend the capabilities of the co-operative movement.
Implement an employee right to own
Co-operatise existing businesses to accelerate new models of ownership and increase the volume of the co-operative sector in the UK.
Introduce a Co-operative Economy Act
A legal framework tailored to the needs of co-operatives and supportive of their future development.