Sevenoaks Sound and Vision becomes an employee-owned business

(Image credit: Sevenoaks Sound & Vision)

Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, one of the largest hi-fi and home cinema retailers in the UK, has announced that it is now an employee-owned business 

As of 30th June 2024, the company is owned and controlled by an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) acting on behalf of the employees of Sevenoaks. 

Rob Lawley, Managing Director of Sevenoaks said on LinkedIn that at the core of this decision is, “The desire to ensure the business retains, now and into the future, its existing character and ethos.”

The company was founded in 1972 and has 24 stores to its name over 50 years since its inception. Sevenoaks was founded by Paul Lee-Kemp, a 21-year-old who had just finished university. He opened his first hi-fi shop in Sevenoaks, Kent with a small loan from his father and a second store was soon opened in Woolwich, South East London. By 1980, there were also stores in Chatham, Tunbridge Wells and Brighton, and another four stores were added by 1990.

The partners decided in the mid-90s to accelerate the company’s expansion and in 1995, they launched the Sevenoaks franchise model which expanded the brand rapidly and opened more stores across the UK, from Aberdeen to Plymouth. Paul took a step back from the day-to-day running of the business in 2014 and handed the reins to current Managing Director, Rob Lawley.

Rival hi-fi and AV retailer Richer Sounds did something similar in 2019, with owner and founder Julian Richer transferring 60% of his shares to an EOT named the Richer Sounds Trust. 

Sevenoaks is a regular hotspot for hi-fi and home cinema deals so be sure to keep an eye open for regular great deals on a wide range of products including TVs, stereo amplifiers, and floorstanding speakers


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Staff Writer

Ainsley Walker is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied music journalism at university before working in a variety of roles including as a freelance journalist and teacher. Growing up in a family of hi-fi enthusiasts naturally influenced his interest in the topic. Outside of work, Ainsley can be found producing music, tinkering with retro tech, or cheering on Luton Town.