Retailers Bravissimo, Beaverbrooks, Net-a-Porter, White Stuff, DRL, Pets at Home and Lush have been named in The Sunday Times list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For.

The annual list, published yesterday (March 6), is based on the views of companies employees and their staff policies. Organisations, which are entered by direct nomination and approach, are ranked according to eight key indicators of staff engagement. This year’s survey is derived from the views of 275,983 staff, who are picked at random.

Leamington Spa-based Bravissimo ranked number eight overall and number of one for customer service, and is praised by its staff for its strong principals and sense of family. The average salary for its fitting consultants is £13,500 while half of the workforce, who work part time or on reduced hours, make £7,500. Staff added that they have a “great deal of faith” in founder Sarah Tremellen and 83% of its 749 employees said they were inspired by her. It also ranked third for wellbeing and fourth for giving staff a fair deal.

Employees at Jewellery retailer Beaverbrooks were proud to work there and love their job. It ranked 17 overall, although slipping 14 places since last year’s survey. The jewellery retailer is praised by 87% of his staff for its strong principles. Almost half of the 771 staff have benefitted from a loyalty bonus and more than 100 have received at least three. It was ranked second for giving something back.

Ten year old Net-a-Porter, sold by founder Natalie Massenet to Richemont Group last year, comes in at number 29 overall. Staff rate it highly for being excited about the London-based company’s future and for not being worried about its future despite the recession.  82% of staff believe they can make a valuable contributution to the firms success. Massenet is also popular among her 622 staff with 88% saying they are inspired by her and the same number saying they have faith in her.

Lifestyle retailer and brand White Stuff, which ranks 55 overall, was rated by employees for benefits and perks that include duvet days, massage and overseas trips, and for a 5.29% pay increase last year despite the difficult economic climate. The average salary for a product advisor is £13,659. The company’s work with local charities through the White Stuff Foundation and green policy, which sees it use second hand furniture in stores and low-energy lighting saw it ranked 46th for giving something back.

DRL came in at 63, praised for its quirky team-building activities- from skydiving to salsa classes- and encouraging staff to develop out-of-work activities by paying towards the cost. This has built a culture of camaraderie, with 86% of employees finding their teams fun to work with. The average age at DRL is 30 and almost a quarter of staff have less than six months service, but 74% of employees feel their job is secure and 69% are not concerned about the future.

Pets at Home, which ranked 77 overall, was ranked highly for employee’s sense of job security, with 79% feeling their job is safe. Staff can gain professional certificates in fields such as licensed medicines, aquatics and grooming, funded by the company. This push to train staff means that 72% of Pets at Home staff feel that their training is beneficial.

Lush, ranked 89, is an ethical cosmetics retailer. Staff believe the company is run on strong values and principles.


Retailers in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For
White Stuff55
Pets at Home 77


In the 25 Best Big Companies to work for, Boots Opticians ranked number one. The paper said: “On the issue of supportive managers, no big company does it better than Boots Opticians.”

Boots UK also ranked 19th in the table. Employees believe the organisation provides a great service to customers, and are proud to work for it.

Alex Gourlay, chief executive of the health and beauty division for Alliance Boots, which includes Boots Opticians and Boots UK, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised twice in the prestigious listing, and for Boots Opticians to have been ranked in first position is just outstanding. At Boots we truly believe in our businesses having the most empowered and engaged teams. Through this engagement we can be confident that our colleagues can deliver the products and customer care that makes the Boots brand one of the most trusted in the UK. Like thousands of my colleagues I am proud to say I work for Boots.”

Iceland Foods is ranked sixth in best big companies, with staff saying that their senior managers live the values of the company.

Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre is ranked eigth, with staff saying they go out of their way to help each other.

Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy UK is ranked 12th and staff said they are excited about the future of the company.

The Midcounties Co-operative is ranked 24th.