Richer Sounds and ethical business

Posted by Nigel Wilson on 7 February 2020 | Comments

I recently replaced our TV. I asked a few friends for advice, and ended up buying our new TV from Richer Sounds. My decision was influenced not only by price, but also their informative website highlighting their expertise, and the fact there were retail branches locally

It was the first time I’d bought from Richer Sounds, and I’m delighted to say the experience was excellent. The advice in the shop was first class; they had the model I wanted in stock, and I left feeling very happy. They even refunded the cost of the car park - no questions other than ‘Where did you park?’. The assistant opened the till, and handed me £2.50

I noticed with great interest a few weeks later, when Amazon’s book suggestions recommended ‘The Ethical Capitalist’ by Julian Richer

As I worked my way through the book - which was also a highly pleasurable experience - I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with many of the points explored by the author. These views resonated strongly with my own: -

  • The importance of a strong company culture - and how a culture based on fairness, honesty and respect leads to motivated hard-working staff who are there for the long haul. Also its effect in reducing fraud, theft, lowering absenteeism, and stress,


  • Producing honest job ads - without any exaggeration or misrepresentation in the belief this will secure the best candidates


  • Ensuring candidates not only have the right skills for the job, but also they share the company’s values. Interestingly Richer Sounds hire for personality and train for skills


  • Offering applicants a 1-day trial in-store, and if successful, followed by an extensive interview process to ensure the right fit. This inevitably means the most suitable candidate is employed, and they get off to a good start, which results in them doing a great job, and staying there. Richer Sounds have an unbelievable amount of employees who’ve been with them for more than 10 years, and many over 20 years


  • Fairness - equally to all staff, whatever their role. Reciprocate loyalty, and a pay decent wage - as he states … “fair pay for a job well done should be the essential element of an employment contract”


  • A totally inclusive employment policy, with recognition to ‘The Enablers’ - all the support staff


  • A clear, fair, well-defined bonus structure for all employees, with everyone knowing exactly what to do (and what not to do) to earn their bonus, with staff incentives directly linked to customer satisfaction. Interestingly, any proposed changes to pay and conditions have to be approved by the RS Colleague Council


  • Training - shops don’t open until midday Monday to Friday. This enables the acquiring and sharing of knowledge of new products amongst retail colleagues


  • Constant monitoring of the business by measuring and assessing performance


  • An overriding emphasis and commitment for consistently great service. There is a massive focus on retaining customers, with a VIP scheme eligible to any customers, which underpins mutual loyalty - prices, warranties, demonstrations, feedback, social media, keeping customers for life, and above all telling the truth


  • An ethical approach to suppliers (and solid tangible environmental values), including payment terms

He also discussed his views on some other topical business arguments, which I shall cover in a future blog