Category: Business

Timpson Wins EY Family Business of Excellence Award

EY Family Business Award of Excellence
Sir John Timpson CBE, Chairman of the Timpson Group, was delighted to be presented with the EY Family Business Award of Excellence recently at a glittering ceremony held to recognise the companies and entrepreneurs that have balanced successfully growing their business, alongside family, whilst taking responsibility for others through their philanthropic or social engagements.

Timpson was recognised for its creative approach to employee engagement and innovative work helping ex-offenders.

The judges particularly noted the ‘upside down management’ style operated at Timpson that empowers the 5,600 ‘colleagues’ it employs to give great customer service. Chaired by James Wates CBE of fourth-generation business Wates Group, the judging panel felt that Timpson is a ‘national example of how a business demonstrates its values and social purpose’.

Sir John received the award from BBC News presenter and current Strictly Come Dancing star, Kate Silverton, who was co-hosting the ceremony with fellow BBC colleague the BBC Radio 2 chat show host, Jeremy Vine.

 

 

 


Other winners

In total, nine entrepreneurs from seven companies were selected by an independent judging panel – chaired by Penny Hughes CBE, Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda PLC – each winning an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK award.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is supported by LGT Vestra – headline sponsor – and Merrill Corporation – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Dataroom Provider. The programme’s UK media partner is the Financial Times.

Timpson the Musical An Edinburgh Fringe Hit

It was one of the weirdest and wackiest shows at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, delighting and entertaining audiences and theatre critics alike. Timpson the Musical, a rollicking roller coaster of high energy musical comedy theatre, with an unapologetically quirky take on Shakespear’s Romeo & Juliet, was staged by the super talented Gigglemug Theatre Company and sponsored by…. yes, Timpson.

The show was based on the Bard’s original premise of two star-crossed lovers from ferociously feuding families – rebranded the Montashoes and Keypulets and fast forwarded to Victorian England. The show charts the entrepreneurial ambitions of young  Monty Montashoe and Keeleigh Keypulet as they strive to break free of their families’ prejudices and make their fortune. Yes, it was daft, yes it was zany, but it totally won over theatre goers at the world-famous fringe arts event that runs alongside the Edinburgh Festival every night in August for its sheer zest.

Better still, this loopy left field production grabbed the nation’s best theatre critics by the very scruff of their Timpson aprons with their unabashed verve and vivacity to make it into the top Fringe shows listings of none other than The Stage and The Guardian. The show bagged an award from The Stage – the UK’s premier arts industry publication – and was also nominated for a prestigious Broadway World UK award.

We are enormously proud to have supported such a brilliantly talented, hard-working cast and crew who, quite literally, threw themselves into the production. Nobody who saw the show will ever forget it and we are delighted Timpson the Musical received the praise and plaudits of some of the best reviewers in showbiz.

“Bonkers”, “barmy”, “witty and hilarious” “energetic, creative and completely ridiculous” were essentially the prevailing thoughts of those who went to see the show. We agree… it was brilliantly bonkers and we loved it too!

Timpson Group Gains Fair Tax Mark

We are delighted to announce that the Timpson Group (including the Max Spielmann and Johnsons the Cleaners brands) has been accredited with the Fair Tax Mark, demonstrating our commitment to paying the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place. The accreditation comes at the opening of the UK’s first ever Fair Tax Fortnight, and alongside the release of new research about the public’s attitude to tax and good corporate conduct.

Polling* commissioned by the Fair Tax Mark has found that seven in ten of the public would rather shop with a business (69%) or work for a business (70%) which can prove it’s paying its fair share of tax; and nearly two-thirds of people (61%) would trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it. A majority of the public say that they would switch the businesses they use in favour of one that has the Fair Tax Mark (51%) – with just 7% disagreeing.

7 in 10 (69%) think it’s important to celebrate businesses that can demonstrate they pay the right amount of tax and who overtly shun the artificial use of tax havens and contrived tax avoidance practices.

The accreditation of Timpson and our 2,046 stores takes the total number of certified Fair Tax Mark outlets and offices to over 6,500, They join a host of other responsible tax businesses, including Richer Sounds, AMT Coffee, The Co-op, SSE and Lush Cosmetics – who all recognise the benefit of being able to demonstrate their commitment to fair tax practices.

Paul Monaghan, Chief Executive, Fair Tax Mark said: “We are delighted to open the first Fair Tax Fortnight with the news that another major high-street retailer is now proudly supporting a Fair Tax Mark.

“Timpson Group is now an accredited Fair Tax Mark business, with an exemplary approach to paying tax and communicating this openly and honestly.

“Too often, tax makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons. There is an almost daily stream of stories of evasion and aggressive avoidance – which not only distort our economy but also undermine the opportunity for business to compete fairly. It is estimated that €600bn of corporate profits are annually shifted to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses globally of €200bn per year – which equates to approximately £7bn of missing revenues in the UK. Fair Tax Fortnight aims to celebrate the companies like Timpson that are seeking to do the right thing and are proud to pay their fair share of corporation tax, and who overtly shun the artificial use of tax havens and contrived tax avoidance practices. The polling released today shows that this resonates strongly with the UK public – who want to shop with, work in and celebrate fair tax enterprises.”

Fair Tax Fortnight, 9-24th June, is a celebration of businesses and organisations that take a responsible approach to tax planning. The Fortnight will be a marked by events across the UK, and include roundtable discussions, coffee mornings, film screenings and a series of further accreditation announcements.

James Timpson, Chief Executive, Timpson Group said: “We are happy and proud to pay our taxes and have always strived to pay tax in the spirit of the law, rather than pursue tax avoidance schemes, which albeit legal, hardly promote a level playing field or a fair contribution to the communities in which we trade. Achieving accreditation from the Fair Tax Mark and ensuring our standards towards tax are the highest they can be, is just one way we can demonstrate to our customers and colleagues our commitment to being a responsible organisation. Not only is that the right thing to do, but it makes business sense too; as the polling reveals, more people want to shop with and work for Fair Tax organisations, so accreditation makes perfect sense.”

Fair Tax Fortnight has been developed by the Fair Tax Mark, with kind support from the Friends Provident Foundation and the Joffe Charitable Trust.

Consumers looking to support businesses committed to paying their fair share of tax can find the more than 6,500 shops and offices of Fair Tax Mark accredited organisations at www.fairtaxmark.net/map

*All polling results are from research undertaken by ICM and commissioned by the Fair Tax Mark. The ICM Omnibus is a nationally representative omnibus survey of 2,020 adults across GB. Polling occurred between 18th and 21st May 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)

Our 2,000th Shop Opens

We proudly opened the 2,000th shop in the Timpson Group this week as we cut the ribbon on a brand new Max Spielmann store in Queensferry, North Wales on Thursday 19th April. Such is the pace of our rapidly expanding business, the 2,000th store opening comes just five short years after our 1,000th shop opened in Baguely, in Manchester.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted by Roisin Timpson, the wife of the Timpson Group CEO, James Timpson OBE. Also on hand to join in this landmark occasion were Timpson Group Chairman, Sir John Timpson CBE and Max Spielmann Retail Director, Sue Burden and her Area Team colleagues, Lisa Kennedy and Keri Burns.

The store’s very proud Branch Manager, Steph Powell, said: “I couldn’t be more proud to be chosen as Branch Manager for the Timpson Group’s 2,000th shop.”

CEO, James Timpson, added: “We have pursued a truly remarkable programme of store openings over the past decade, and really cranked that up in the past five years, opening stores across the Group – with Timpson and Max stores and Pods opening in all four major supermarkets, making us arguably the most dynamic retailer in the UK.”

The 2,000th store opening comes hot on the heels of an agreement with ASDA in February this year to open up to 100 Max Spielmann Photo shops, 50 in-store Timpson shops and a number of Pods in the supermarket chain’s car parks.

 

Timpson Group Opens First Barbershop

The very first Barbershop by Timpson opened today, Thursday 12th April, right outside our Timpson House base in Wythenshawe, Manchester. Snipping the ribbon on our new ‘cutting edge’ concept store was Bede Timpson, eldest son of Timpson Group CEO, James Timpson, who was amongst the first to climb into the barber’s chair for a trim. Bede was joined by the Timpson Group’s Business Development Manager, Liz Jardine, and our fantastic team of skilled barbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Barbershop team of Stevie, James, Gary, Byron and barber’s apprentice, Ellis, are all looking forward to trailblazing this exciting new venture for the Group.

Grooming Growth
Barbershop by Timpson Area Manager, Stevie Badrock, said: “It’s been an incredible journey launching this debut service for the Timpson Group. With the explosive growth in men’s grooming, we know there is a market there and we plan to launch more Barbershop by Timpson concept stores in the months ahead. Meanwhile, I’m delighted to report we’ve had a steady stream of customers since we threw open the doors of our cool new Barbershop.”

 

 

Timpson Group Seals ASDA Deal

The Timpson Group’s CEO, James Timpson OBE, announced today a deal with ASDA to open up to 100 Max Spielmann Photo shops, 50 in-store Timpson shops and an as yet unspecified number of Pods in the supermarket chain’s car parks.

James said: “This is great news. We know where we currently have sites within an ASDA they are busy, profitable businesses that colleagues like working in. We now have all four of the big supermarket chains as partners.”

ASDA has offered the Group a number of great sites that can quickly be developed as Max Photo shops. Some will require immediate refits to enable Max to trade. James added: “It’s my intention to get all sites refitted and looking amazing during the course of this year.

“A number of Timpson shops will be carved out of the existing space, so we will have two parts of the Group side by side. I’m hopeful that the Pods will arrive in ASDA car parks pretty soon too.”

Timpson Finance Director, Paresh Majithia commented: “This is another really exciting phase in the company’s journey as we continue to invest in the quality services supermarket shoppers demand.”

 

Jeeves Helps Crisis at Christmas

Every year the homeless charity Crisis UK organises a Crisis at Christmas event to offer food, shelter, comfort and friendship to those living rough on the streets of the capital over the festive period. This year, Crisis extended a welcome to around 4,000 homeless guests into nine crisis centres across London.

The charity contacted the Timpson Group back in early November to ask if Jeeves, which is part of the Timpson Group, might be willing to help them provide clean blankets for the rough sleepers who would be offered temporary shelter at its centres between 23rd and 30th December. We were delighted to help and the wheels were set in motion at the Jeeves specialist dry cleaning centre in Tottenham.

Every single item was checked in advance for evidence of mould, rips and heavy stains by a volunteer Scout group with any failed blankets being discarded.

Just shy of 2,000 blankets were collected by our drivers and brought to the Tottenham Excellence Centre where they were washed, dried, folded and re-packed before delivery back to the Dagenham warehouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis UK’s Dagenham warehouse manager, Chris Beer, who runs the Crisis at Christmas campaign said: “To be able to send these blankets out freshly laundered made such a massive difference to the sleeping situations of our guests, many of whom are long term rough sleepers.”

The charity’s work with London’s rough sleepers, many of whom have significant health and wellbeing, issues is extraordinary and a much anticipated feature of Christmas for many of the capital’s long-term homeless community who have little or no-one to celebrate Christmas with each year.

Chris added: “Teams of advisors were helping with everything from housing to immigration issues. We set up four  dental units and new this year was the provision of dentures for our guests. Eye care teams where issuing free prescription glasses. There was some wonderful art being created, poetry and creative writing took place and was performed, films were watched in our nine cinemas, one of which was a bespoke cinema built especially for the centre.”

Football enthusiasts were treated by London clubs Arsenal, Millwall and West Ham which helped provide training sessions for the East London Day Centre’s guests. Arsenal FC once again hosted a football tournament at its indoor facility at the Emirates stadium at which Crisis’ East London Day Centre triumphed. In total, 37,000 meals were served over the Christmas period, 644 healthcare appointments were attended, 312 eye tests and 359 footcare appointments took place, 148 physiotherapy sessions and 286 massages were freely offered to rough sleepers.

 

 

 

 

 

Dignity and Warmth
“Thank you so much for being part of the team that helped to make this happen. The bedding you cleaned for us was perfect and made such a difference, giving dignity as well as warmth to the guests in our centres, said Chris.”

Following the charity’s massive operation to help 4,000 homeless people, hundreds of towels that were returned from its nine centres to the Crisis warehouse needed laundering. As the charity doesn’t currently have a facility for this we took in 15 large cages to wash.

Without our help Crisis UK would sadly have had to dispose of them if they were unable to be be professionally laundered. We were happy to help a fantastic organisation doing such great work for a really significant number of disadvantaged and very vulnerable people. Heartfelt thanks to all our wonderful colleagues at Jeeves’ Tottenham Excellence Centre and our drivers for all their efforts. What a magnificent bunch.

Think carefully before opening more shops – it could be the worst decision you’ll ever make

Q. My question concerns my son. After thirteen years in the catering trade, he decided to join in a venture with a very good friend.

His pal had opened a health food cafe some 18 months ago and succeeded in establishing a popular business.

He joined him as a partner, and invested in another cafe, which opened within the last month. This too has gone well.

My question is although both businesses are still quite young, and they are both working hard, they have both realised that in order to make this really work they will have to open more outlets.

What would be your view on when this should happen?

A. New businesses are often in a hurry to get bigger but it is wise not to rush.

Your son and his partner have just launched a second outlet and still enjoy the advantage of hands-on management.

As soon as they open another they’ll have to hire a manager who will need supervision.

Why is your son so desperate to get a bigger business?

Big doesn’t always mean better. If the current restaurants make a loss the more outlets they open the more money they are likely to lose.

If, however, as I hope, the two restaurants both make money, before starting to grow them into a chain, why not see how much money can be made by running the two of them even better and building a great reputation.

I’ve already hinted that running lots of outlets can bring lots of complications.

When I studied Industrial Economics at Nottingham University I learnt all about economies of scale, so I understand why managers are tempted to think that a bigger buying power will increase margins and transform profits.

But growing companies can find that overheads, created by a “head office”,soak up all the money made on the shop floor.

We reckon the employment cost of an extra office colleague wipes out the profit of an average shop!

Too many growing companies bring in an expensive general manager who spends all the profit without improving the business.

Your son and his partner are starting a long learning experience. Once they decide it is time to expand, as well as keeping a tight control on overheads, they will have to find the right sites at an affordable rent and resist the temptation to overspend on shopfitting costs.

Most of all they will need to trust colleagues and delegate. It will be vital to pick positive people with the right personality to help them grow their business.

One day your son could have 50 or over 100 restaurants. But, on the way, he and his partner will need plenty of patience and a lot of luck.

Q. Talented people with a strong personality are sometimes difficult to manage. What strategies would you suggest to ensure that such people stay onside?

A. I want people with a strong personality and like colleagues who take responsibility and use their initiative. But you ask a very good question.

Even our free upside down style of management must make sure that we only have team players. Some strong personalities are simply not for us.

We certainly don’t want selfish, bloody-minded rebels with a chip on their shoulder. Extreme characters must be quickly encouraged to find their happiness elsewhere.

Forceful personalities need the guidance of a strong company culture.

The way good management works best is when the chief executive and senior team create the strategy, set the culture and then give colleagues freedom to deliver the detail.

Management are there to help their team. Culture and strategy set the scene, there is no process, no KPIs and no need to issue orders.

Given trust and authority, your strong personalities will deliver the goods.

This is very different from the Corbyn School of Management, which expects party members to help set the strategy and then puts policy into practice by taking away individual freedom and making everyone follow a process policed by central government.

In contrast I’m in favour of “Upside Down Government”.

To succeed, a business needs big personalities but no one should think they are bigger than the business. You will interview plenty of self-confident extroverts but make sure you pick Mr. Happy, Miss Punctual, Mr Smart and Mrs Helpful and avoid Mr Greedy, Miss Selfish, Mr Rude and Mrs Bossy.

Is the new apprenticeship levy good or bad for business?

Q: We’ve had a week to digest the Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review. Now that the dust has settled, do you think it was broadly good or bad for business?

A: After every budget statement (and we seem to get plenty of them these days), it is natural to look at the proposals from a personal point of view.

In his attempt to balance the country’s budget the Chancellor has made it almost impossible for us and other retailers to balance our budgets. No wonder Dave Lewis of Tesco is unhappy.

With sales pegged by zero price inflation, it will be tough to pay for the living wage, auto enrolment and the proposed apprentice levy and still have enough money left for planned future investment.

Perhaps shopkeepers are getting paranoid but facing a further delay before putting some sense back into business rates suggests that either George Osborne is in no hurry to readjust the tax burden between on-line and high street retailers, or his civil servants simply can’t find another way to raise the £27.3bn.

hoped this statement would show signs of turning my dream of “upside down government” into a reality. Optimistically I looked for less red tape and the cutting of central costs by a government that recognised that most wealth is created by private enterprise.

In my dream, ministers recognised that their role is to support business, not by telling executives how to do their job but by clearing obstacles that get in the way of success.

The apprenticeship levy has turned my dream into a nightmare.

At a stroke, this thinly designed payroll tax has introduced a new bundle of red tape designed to dictate, in detail, how we run our business.

Every new Timpson colleague joins our apprentice scheme, a comprehensive programme that covers all our services including cobbling, key cutting and watch repairs. We have developed a full set of illustrated training guides and a rigorous skill testing system.

Colleagues are required to be fully qualified in all our services by the end of their 12 month apprenticeship. It’s an expensive exercise but money well spent. It is the only way to make sure we provide a quality service in every shop.

In addition we will now contribute 0.5pc of payroll as an apprentice levy, without getting any of it back to pay for our own apprenticeships.

So what happens to the extra £750,000 we put into the apprenticeship pot if it doesn’t help to pay for our gold star training scheme?

First, there is a new standards body to fund, an extra arm of government which will set the rules and decide what boxes have to be ticked. Although its membership will be drawn from industry this new agency will be guided by back room staff who will be keen to develop a process and run apprenticeships by their rule book.

The rules will call for national training standards. Good news for the massive structure of training agencies and independent training providers, who are already sharpening their pencils ready to tick all the right boxes on industry’s behalf.

It’s ok for the engineers, they have a nationally approved training structure. But there isn’t a national apprentice scheme for cobblers and key cutters, we have had to develop our own.

Over the next few months we will be pestered by training providers keen to tweak our training scheme so that we can qualify for some modest training grants while they earn a substantial slice of the levy for themselves.

We prefer to stick to our own scheme even if we pay the levy and get nothing back, but it’s a pity that so much of our money looks likely to be used to fund more bureaucracy and increase red tape.

Q: Black Friday retail sales were far below expectations. Should we just forget it next year?

A: I get the impression that retailers have had a pretty poor November. The terrorist attack in Paris reduced footfall in big shopping centres and Black Friday doesn’t seem to have made things any better.

When I was a lad, working alongside old fashioned retailers, we had a simpler approach to special offers. We sold everything at full margin up to Christmas and sold off the surplus stock in a January sale.

Apart from the furniture and carpet stores that have always promoted price reductions throughout the year, the only shops that put on offers before Christmas were multiple tailors including John Collier and Hepworths who mainly sold made to measure suits with a 10-day delivery.

Understandably, they started their sale as soon as a new suit couldn’t be delivered by Christmas.

Gerald Ratner was one of the first retailers to provocatively cut prices in early December. He enjoyed two years of spectacular success before finding it was impossible to bring out even bigger bargains year after year.

Despite lower margins his jewellery sales were on the slide before his unfortunate speech to the IoD made matters much worse.

More recently some of the department stores along with M&S have lost their nerve and held short and sharp pre-Christmas sales to boost flagging sales, but Black Friday has spread the discount disease right across the high street and it is now in danger of becoming a permanent feature of the on-line shopping calendar.

As a trainee shoe buyer I was taught that anyone can increase turnover if they give the goods away, but it takes a clever merchant to make enough margin to make real money. I wonder whether some of the Black Friday backers are buying record turnovers at a record level of loss.

After a few years, special bargain events aren’t that special any more, but once you start taking the price promotion pill it is difficult to break the habit.

This year’s disappointing sales may reduce retail enthusiasm for Black Friday in 2016, but it will be a very long time before retailers realise the benefits of a full-price Christmas followed by a genuine January sale.