Richer Sounds founder Julian Richer is gifting control of the electricals business to staff, who are in line to receive significant cash bonuses.
Richer is known for his people-centric approach to retail, which is based on secure and well-paid jobs ensuring a happy workforce and leading to long-term business success.
Richer is transferring 60% of his shares to the chain’s 531 staff in a John Lewis-style partnership.
The business will pay Richer £9.2m for his stake but he has chosen to give £3.5m of that sum back to employees, who will receive a £1,000 for every year they have worked for the retailer, The Guardian has reported.
The average length of employment is eight years, which is highly unusual on the shop floor, with 39 employees in line to receive bonuses of £20,000 or more.
Richer plans to stay involved with the retailer but leave day-to-day operations to the management board. The employee ownership trust will operate according to a set of principles designed to make sure the business continues to operate as it has previously and is based on “honesty, commitment, trust and respect”.
Richer said: “I have always planned to leave my company in trust on my death for the benefit of the colleagues in the business.
“Having hit the ripe old age of 60 in March, I felt the time was right, rather than leaving it until I’m not around, to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and I can be part of it. The company’s banks, suppliers and customers should feel that the move is – hopefully – seamless and Richer Sounds carries on as normal.”