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Julian Richer is an English retailer, best known as the founder and 100% shareholder of Richer Sounds, the UK’s biggest hi-fi retailer. He is also the owner of EmpireDirect.co.uk. Richer has gained a reputation for his motivational style of management and his charitable activities.
Richer's business career started at the age of 14 while he was still at school at Clifton College, Bristol, and he opened his first shop near London Bridge aged 19. This store (now relocated to Tooley Street) in south London held the Guinness record for the highest sales per square foot of any retail outlet in the world and the company has now grown to over 50 stores across the UK.
In January 2011 Richer Sounds plc received a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales as a supplier of Consumer Electronic Products. Which? awarded Richer Sounds its prestigious ‘Best Retailer’ award for 2010 and 2015, ‘Best High Street Retailer’ for 2011, and also rated it a Which? Recommended Provider in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
He is also a 51% shareholder of Audio Partnership, an electronics company designing, commissioning and distributing electronics to over 50 countries.
Richer developed his activities as a motivational adviser, and in the past advised some of the country’s largest organisations at chief executive level on staff motivation, customer service, cultural change, communications and suggestion schemes, although now he has stepped back from this role. His book, The Richer Way, is now in its fifth edition and was the best selling business book at WH Smith's when it was published in November 1995. He published his second book, Richer on Leadership, in January 1999.
Although not keen on public speaking, he was made the youngest ever Business Communicator of the Year for 1995. He was also awarded Honorary Doctorates in Business Administration from Kingston University in January 2002 and from Bournemouth University in 2003.
Richer Sounds gives 15% of its profits to his charitable trust to distribute. He was the first Patron of The Big Issue Foundation, is patron of Irwell Valley Housing Association and is a Vice President of the RSPCA. From 1998 until 2006 he was a director of Duchy Originals, the Prince of Wales’ charitable trading company, and received an LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victoria Order) in 2007 in recognition of his work for them. He is the founder and a trustee of ACTS 435, a national initiative to help those in need, which was launched successfully at the York Synod by the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, in June 2010. In 2013 he founded and funded a charity 'ASB Help' working for the victims of anti-social behaviour, which was launched in October of that year, dedicated to the memory of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca. He is particularly interested and active in the areas of both human rights and animal welfare.
He is also keen to help musicians via his Richer Unsigned project.
He is a Governor of Clifton College, his old school, despite his relatively poor academic performance whilst a pupil there.
- Startups.co.uk: Julian Richer talks about his career and entrepreneurship. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Business Bricks: Why Julian Richer ripped out the doors
- BBC reports on Richer Sounds being named as winner of the Which? High Street Shop Survey, 2011 Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Richer, Julian. The Richer Way, Revised Edition, First Published in Great Britain by Richer Publishing, 1995. ISBN 978-0-9534415-2-5
- Richer, Julian. Richer on Leadership, Revised Edition, First Published in Great Britain by Richer Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-9534415-0-4