The Richer Way
Our culture explained


Who are we?

As an employee-controlled trust, we’re a diverse, customer-orientated team, united by a passion for music and movies. Our stores contain a remarkable number of budding musicians, DJs, and film buffs, fanatical about great sound and vision. We recruit based on natural friendliness, rather than high-pressure sales skills.

All our teams are audio-visual enthusiasts and experts (seriously – they train themselves on new products continuously). They’re here to find a perfect match to your needs and budget, big or small, and to think of the things you may have missed, enhancing your overall home entertainment experience.


Acts 435Acts 435

We founded Acts 435, a charity giving 100% of donations to those in need. 
www.acts435.org.uk/give

ASB HelpASB Help

To help victims of anti-social behaviour we established and fund ASB Help. 
www.asbhelp.co.uk

Carbon NeutralCarbon Neutral

We work with Carbon Footprint Limited to achieve a Carbon Neutral organisation.
www.carbonfootprint.com

Fair TaxFair Tax

We’re proud to hold the Fair Tax Mark for transparency over tax disclosures and the amount of tax paid.
www.fairtaxmark.net

Fairness FoundationFairness Foundation

We established and fund
the Fairness Foundation
to allow us to support
those causes closest to our
interests and beliefs.

Good Business CharterGood Business Charter

The Good Business Charter encourages responsible business behaviour and signposts consumers to these businesses.
www.goodbusinesscharter.com

Guinness World RecordsGuinness World Records

For over 25 years, our first store at London Bridge has been accredited with the highest sales per sq ft of any retailer in the world.
www.guinnessworldrecords.com

Living Wage EmployerLiving Wage Employer

We are one of only a few retailers to be an accredited Living Wage employer.
www.livingwage.org.uk

Prompt Payment CodePrompt Payment Code

We pay every one of our suppliers on time and in an average of only 23 days – over twice as fast as the national norm.
www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk

We're proudly employee ownedWe're proudly employee owned

Being proudly employee owned means our colleagues indirectly own 60% of the company and have a real stake in its success.
www.employeeownership.co.uk

Richer Sounds FoundationRicher Sounds Foundation

“Richer Sounds donates a higher percentage of profit than any other privately-owned company.”
– The Guardian

Richer UnsignedRicher Unsigned

Our not-for-profit organisation designed to help and support musicians and artists by promoting the UK’s best undiscovered music.
www.richerunsigned.com

Royal WarrantRoyal Warrant

By Appointment to
HRH The Prince of Wales
Supplier Of Consumer Electronics 
Richer Sounds Ltd.
London
www.royalwarrant.org

Tax WatchTax Watch

An investigative think tank set up by our founder, Julian Richer, to investigate and expose aggressive tax avoidance.
www.taxwatchuk.org

Which? Retailer of The Year AwardWhich? Retailer of The Year Award

We’re incredibly delighted to have picked up the most recent Which? Recommended Provider award for Technology Retailers.
www.which.co.uk

Zero Hours JusticeZero Hours Justice

We oppose zero-hour contracts unless requested by employees, and founded and fund Zero Hours Justice.
www.zerohoursjustice.org


Our history

Our Founder and MD, Julian Richer, began buying and selling hi-fi separates at school when he was 14. In 1978, aged 19, he opened his first shop on London Bridge Walk with the help of the late Vic Odden, a photography retailer. In May 2019, he handed control of the business over to an Employee Owned Trust, so Richer Sounds is now controlled and majority owned by the people who work in the company. 

We now trade from 51 stores nationwide, online and through our Telesales and Business to Business departments. We may have started in budget hi-fi, but in more recent years we have also gained a significant reputation in TV, home cinema systems and premium audio.

Old Richer Sounds storeOld Richer Sounds store
A new Richer Sounds storeA new Richer Sounds store

Our philosophy

The words 'Experience Better' sit under our logo. These are words everyone at Richer Sounds lives and breathes. We strive to provide you with better:

• Knowledge and expertise
• Products and pricing
• Customer service

We’re convinced this leads to a better home entertainment experience for you, our customer.

When you step into a Richer Sounds store, you’ll be greeted by someone who not only knows all about audio and visual entertainment, but also knows how to make it work beautifully in a real home or place of work. As well as having a team that love what they do, we train, train and train constantly so we can be confident in saying we have the knowledge on audio and visual entertainment. Julian Richer, our Founder and MD explains why looking after customers and colleagues is beneficial to businesses in his book, The Richer Way. You can buy the book at Waterstones or on Amazon.


We aim to run a responsible business

What do we mean when we call ourselves a ‘responsible business’? Julian Richer, our Founder and MD, has spent a huge amount of time thinking about how a business can be successful and also benefit society – so much so that he authored a book on the subject!

From the introduction of 'The Ethical Capitalist', where he explains his thinking:

“I mean treating staff, customers and suppliers honestly, openly and respectfully. I mean doing what we say we will do. I mean taking responsibility for our actions, owning up when things go wrong and setting out to put them right. I mean seeing ourselves as an integral part of society and paying our dues – especially taxes – accordingly. By following this approach, I believe we create a virtuous circle for ourselves: not only is it the right thing to do, we sleep better at night, and I believe a fair and honest approach to customers and staff leads to a huge competitive advantage.”

We try hard to live up to this standard and hope that this philosophy runs through everything we do. If you’d like to read more about Julian’s thoughts on responsible businesses, you can buy the book at Waterstones or on Amazon.


We're here for our customers

We check our competitors’ deals every day. It’s unlikely, but if you do find anything cheaper elsewhere (including online) even up to 14 days after purchase, we’ll beat that price by up to £100. See our Price Beat for details.

We choose less obvious locations for our smaller shops than most high-street retailers because this saves us money and, in turn, saves YOU money.

We’ve spent over 40 years building relationships with our suppliers, meaning we can negotiate extra-special prices and can then pass these savings on to you!

Get all of the perks below and much, much more when you join our Richer Sounds VIP Club. What’s the catch? There is none. Simply sign up with an email address, and it’s FREE – today, and forever.

• Special VIP-only discounts.
• 6 Year Guarantee included on the vast majority of TV, projector and wireless multiroom system purchases.
• We’ll open just for you between 8am-8pm by appointment (subject to colleague availability).

Every one of our sales colleagues signs an ethical selling pledge when they start working with us, so you can be sure that we’re giving you the best possible guidance. All of our stores have Experience Rooms, so you can listen to your choices and take your time while making that all-important buying decision.

That’s not all – the help we provide doesn’t stop at the door as you exit. We’re here for our customers long after they leave. We’ll help with setting up – we’re available in-store or over the phone and can even talk you through installation options, if needed.

Our teams aren’t just here if you run into difficulties, they can offer advice on getting the full potential out of your system and can help when you take the next steps to upgrade.

We have the lowest priced extended warranties in the business – a fraction of the prices of many other major retailers, plus a free 6 Year Guarantee on most TVs, projectors and wireless music systems if you are a VIP Club member (free and easy to join – see above).

What’s more, if you buy one of our 6 Year Guarantees on hi-fi and AV products you can have your money back in full if it is unused after six years.

Need help at home or at your place of work figuring out how to put together the ideal AV / TV or hi-fi system for your needs? Our free, no obligation, at home (or place of work) survey provides just what you need.

Find out more here.

We do our best to be helpful to people with disabilities by providing bells to call for assistance if needed and free delivery where possible. If you have any specific requirements, please do get in touch with our Customer Service team on 0333 900 0094.

If you feel any issues have not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can always phone our Customer Service team on 0333 900 0094 (local rate).

Should you have any issues then please contact the store or department you made your purchase from who will be more than happy to help. Following that, our Customer Service team is available to assist with complaints or repair issues by email: customerservices@richersounds.com or phone: 0333 900 0094.

As a final last resort, which hopefully will not be necessary, please contact the office of Julian Richer, our Founder and Managing Director, at julianoffice@richersounds.com. Julian will oversee your correspondence and arrange for one of our senior team to help.


We care for our colleagues

On 10th May 2019 Julian passed 60% of his shares into an Employee Owned Trust, giving all employees an indirect stake in the business in perpetuity, as well as, quite separately, a £1000 ‘thank you’ bonus for every year they had worked (excl. board directors). The latter came from his own pocket – a gift to his loyal team of an average of £8000 each, in total almost £4m.

We firmly believe that happy staff = happy customers and we are committed to providing our employees with secure, well-paid jobs in a stimulating, equal opportunities environment. We don’t punish sickness, unlike some less ethical organisations. If our colleagues are unwell, we encourage them to take time off to recover. We are proud to be one of the only retailers to be an accredited Living Wage employer and refuse to issue zero-hour contracts to our valued colleagues. “The gold standard for retail workers? Richer Sounds has signed up to be a living hours employee.” – The Independent, 12th June, 2019.

From 4th April 2018 we are required to publish our gender pay gap. We are very pleased to announce that based on the mean calculation women are paid 2.7% more than men and via the median calculation women are paid 2% more than men.

The infographic below shows how Richer Sounds is one of only 14% of companies with a pay gap that favours women.

pay gap infographic

Taken from this article on the BBC.

We do our best to look after our colleagues well. We provide company-paid holiday homes to ensure all get a well-deserved break, free private doctor consultations, subsidised gym membership and other valuable perks to encourage their health and wellbeing. Should any of our team need it, we also have a Helping Hand fund to provide for them in case of emergencies.


Caring for our environment

We're committed to sustaining our environment for future generations and work with Carbon Footprint Limited on clean energy projects.

(WEEE) In-store Take Back

The Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, growing by at least 5% each year. The public incorrectly disposes of over 1.2 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste (equivalent of 150,000 double decker buses) in the UK each year in landfill sites. Depositing WEEE in landfill sites can have negative impacts on the environment, polluting soil, air and water quality which in turn can have negative impacts on human and animal health. Alarmingly, much of the WEEE that ends up in landfill sites could have been recycled.

We can help… Richer Sounds welcomes the opportunity of recycling your old household electrical item free of charge when returned to any of our 51 stores on the purchase of any like-for like product. This offer is valid for 28 days from purchase, on production of a valid receipt. Please contact your local store or a member of our customer services team for more details 0333 900 0094.

Our on-line customers are also given the option to arrange a WEEE collection at the time of purchase transaction on the majority of our TV products. A small fee applies to cover transport costs.

Alternatively, please contact your Local Authority who will be able to provide details of other recycling options available in your area.

To remind you that old electrical equipment can be recycled, it is now marked with a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol. Please do not throw any electrical equipment (including those marked with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol) in your bin.

Richer Sounds WEEE producer registration number: WEE/HG0043SY

Richer Sounds recognises that the provision of all services and products generates an impact on the environment and we are fully committed to minimising any potential negative impact by continually striving to improve our environmental performance. Click here to download our environmental policy.  

When we use this logo on a TV it means that it has been certified by either ecolabel.eu or has an Energy Saving Recommended certification mark.  

The Eco-label on televisions tells you: 
• The product consumes less energy during use and standby
• It contains fewer substances that are dangerous for health and the environment
• The products can be taken back free of charge by the manufacturer after use
• It contains instructions for correct environmental use
• It is designed for greater durability and recyclability  

In order for a product to qualify for an Energy Saving Recommended certification, it must use less energy than standard models, therefore lowering energy bills and helping the environment.

Modern day slavery statement

Richer Sounds recognises that slavery and human trafficking are crimes and violations of fundamental human rights and remain a hidden blight on our global society. We hold a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking and are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings. We expect our colleagues, suppliers, contractors and all other stakeholders to commit to the same, including implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to prevent and detect modern slavery. We would never knowingly conduct business with suppliers or employees engaged in such practices. Our colleagues are expected to report concerns and management are expected to act upon them. Our supply chain policies and procedures are reviewed and accredited by the Slave Free Alliance to prevent modern day slavery within our supply chain.

Read the most recent full statement here

Read the previous statements


Conflict minerals are minerals mined in conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses, and which are sold or traded by armed groups.  This problem has led to the creation of a number of international initiatives (including those from the OECD and the UK government) calling on companies in electronics industries to play a part in addressing it.

Richer Sounds is committed to conflict-free sourcing and ongoing due-diligence.  Although we are a long way from the end of this supply chain, we want to work with our suppliers to make sure that they have robust policies in place addressing conflict minerals further down the chain.  We are working with Ethical Consumer (Research Association) to ensure that we are demonstrating best practice for consumer electronics retailers in this area.


Policy Date: 11 July 2019


What other people say about us

Guinness World Records - highest sales per square foot of any retail outlet in the world, for the past 26 years.
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Which? - Recommended Provider Award.
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Since 2011, Royal Warrant by Appointment to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
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“The bald fact remains that Richer Sounds, the slightly maverick hi-fi retailer, generally donates a higher percentage of its profits (currently 15%) than any other privately owned company." - The Guardian.

 

“Some firms reported so-called "negative" pay gaps, where women are paid on average more than men. These included electric car maker Tesla Motors, babywear retailer Mamas and Papas and electronics retailer Richer Sounds.” – BBC News.
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Employee Ownership Trust - “The owner and founder of Richer Sounds, Julian Richer, used a special trust to give his 500 staff a 60% indirect stake in the business.” – BBC News.
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“Richer Sounds is thought to be the biggest company to convert itself into an employee ownership trust.” – The Times.
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“The gold standard for retail workers? Richer Sounds has signed up to be a living hours employee” – The Independent.
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“Mr Richer has said that motivating staff was a “crucial element” of the retailer’s success along with its “second to none” commitment to customer service.” – Financial Times.
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“Richer Sounds… 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.” – The Guardian.
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“The company, which has 52 branches across the UK, has championed a model of hiring knowledgeable staff, giving them secure jobs and paying them well.” – The Independent.
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“Online shoppers receive misleading information about their rights to return items, leading to widespread confusion, a consumer group has said. Which? studied the websites of 46 retailers and supermarkets. It found that all but one had errors. The only retailer to pass the test was hi-fi seller Richer Sounds.” – BBC News.
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“[Richer Sounds] was among the first to commit to the Living Wage Foundation's level for a national living wage.” – Sky News.
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“It also pays its suppliers on time, is accredited by The Fair Tax Mark for paying tax and reporting tax transparently and has a comprehensive environmental policy.” – Daily Mirror.
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The Richer Way by Julian Richer is described as “one of the best business books in history” by The Independent.
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The Ethical Capitalist by Julian Richer was a Financial Times book of the month.
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