The founder of Britain’s largest independent chain of hi-fi shops has made plans to hand his entire business to his employees when he dies, saying he lacks a “spoilt child to run the business”.
Julian Richer, 54, who still holds 100 per cent of the shares in Richer Sounds, the chain he founded 35 years ago, has devised a “trust” model akin to firms such as John Lewis. Under the scheme, which will come into effect when he dies, all staff will receive an equal share in the business, while the firm’s IT director Julie Abrahams will assume the role of managing director.
Mr Richer, who rejoined the business full time as managing director a decade ago, told the Financial Times that Richer Sounds was his “life’s work” and he was reluctant to sell it to an outsider.
Mr Richer has a reputation for treating his staff well. The company, which has 52 stores around the country, is known for rewarding employees with perks including trips in the company jet and free use of holiday homes in Europe.