The inside view from director of retail operations Bea Pearson

What makes your ideal employee?

Someone who is passionate about what we sell and what we do and is engaged with where we are going.

What sets apart working at your company from your competitors?

We were a family business until 2002 and have retained that family feeling and service heritage. We pride ourselves on understanding the needs of our customers and of the local community.

How do you strive to retain your staff?

We conduct an annual colleague satisfaction survey and our 76% return rate tells us what we do well.

How do you ensure your employees have a good work/life balance?

We can agree short-term arrangements for personal circumstances, such as a new baby. Or, if colleagues are working at different locations and this requires additional travel, we amend the working day to ensure a reasonable work life balance.

Founded 1872

Based Leatherhead, Surrey

Number of staff 1,240

Number of stores 100

Number of days’ leave 21 days for non-management and 26 days for management

Employee benefits Bonus scheme, pension scheme, life insurance, staff discount and childcare vouchers. It also runs two monetary rewards schemes, recommend a friend for a role and suggest a site for a store

Work ethos Everyone helps each other out and that makes for an unbeatable team spirit