Richer Sounds

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Richer Sounds ltd
TypeUnlisted ltd
FoundedLondon Bridge, England (1978)
HeadquartersLondon, England
Key people
Julian Richer, Founder and MD
Julie Abraham, CEO
David Robinson, Chairman
Claudia Vernon, Marketing Director
ProductsHi-fi, home cinema & TV
Number of employees
492 (2018)
Richer Sounds store in Southampton
A typical shop layout in 2009
Richer Sounds original logo, 1978-2006

Richer Sounds is a British home entertainment retailer that operates through a chain of 51 stores and through online, mainly in England. The business was 100% owned by Julian Richer, the founder and managing director of the company, who in 2019 sold 60% of its shares to an employee ownership trust.[1]

History of the business[edit]

Richer Sounds formally began trading in 1978 when Richer, then aged 19, opened his first shop near London Bridge, with the help of photography retailer Vic Odden. For over 20 years, this shop has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest sales per square foot of any retail outlet in the world.[2]

In November 2013, Julian Richer announced to the press that, upon his death, he would bequeath 100% of the firm to a trust co-owned by employees of the company.[3][4] In May 2019 Richer, then aged 60, announced that he had transferred ownership to employees by passing 60% of his shares to a trust,[5] as well as separately paying each employee, excluding directors,[6] a thank you bonus of £1,000[7] for every year of work from his own pocket to his 500+ employees who had worked an average of 8 years each (circa £4 million).[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

In January 2011, Richer Sounds received a Royal Warrant.[16]

Richer Sounds has won 5 'Retailer of the Year' or Best Retailer' awards from Which? in 2010, 2011, 2015,[17] 2018[18] and 2019.[19]

Richer Sounds is an accredited holder of the Fair Tax Mark[20] for transparency over tax disclosures and the amount they pay.

The company is also a part of the Living Wage Scheme,[21] set up by the Living Wage Foundation, and founder, Julian Richer, has backed their Living Hours program, which seeks to curb zero-hour contracts.[22]


  1. The Independent: Julian Richer talks about employee suggestion schemes
  2. Julian Richer talks about employee suggestion schemes
  3. Ninety-five per cent of this man's staff say they love working for him. What's his secret?
  4. Increasing human and social capital by applying job embeddedness theory
  5. The Guardian: Richer Sounds' charitable donations
  6. BBC reports on Richer Sounds being named as winner of the Which? High Street Shop Survey, 2011


  1. ^ "Ethical Capitalist Julian Richer gave staff richer pickings". The Times. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Greatest sales per unit area annually". London: Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  3. ^ Kunal, Dutta (19 November 2013). "'I lack a spoilt child to run the business': Hi-fi tycoon Julian Richer to leave company to his staff". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  4. ^ Jonathan, Moules (19 November 2014). "Richer Sounds business to be bequeathed to employees". The Financial Times. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  5. ^ "A capitslism that makes everyone Richer – by giving it all away". The Times. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Richer Sounds boss wants to 'do the right thing'". BBC News online. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Music to their ears: Richer Sounds boss's move is warmly welcomed". The Times. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ Wood, Zoe (14 May 2019). "Richer Sounds founder hands over control of hi-fi and TV firm to staff". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Richer Sounds founder hands business to staff". Financial Times. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Richer Sounds owner hands over control of TV and hi-fi retailer to staff". The Independent. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Vodafone dividend cut is a cautious move, not cause for panic". The Guardian. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Richer Sounds founder hands control to staff". The Times. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Why Julian Richer Gave His Multimillion-Dollar Firm To Employees". Forbes. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Forget Uber, it's Julian Richer who has shown us how to save capitalism – by giving away his business". The Independent. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Employee ownership can make societies richer". Financial Times. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Richer by Royal Appointment". What Hi-Fi?. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  17. ^ "Which? Crowns best of business". Which?. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Jet2 becomes first airline to win Which? Travel Brand of the Year". Which?. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Octopus Energy revealed as winner at Which? Awards". Which?. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Why Richer Sounds cares about fair tax". Fair Tax Mark. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  21. ^ "New Director of the Living Wage Foundation Announced". Living Wage Foundation. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Firms face pressure to improve zero-hours contracts". BBC News. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.

External links[edit]