Shaper: Dean Richmond

Show aired on 26th August 2017

Transcript

Dean Richmond

Born in Cuckfield, Sussex in 1973, Dean left school with four GCSEs.  He ran his own business making birdfeeders and rabbit runs but needed money for a car, so in 1989 went to work in his parents shop, ‘Pets Corner’, which had two stores at the time.

A third store opened in 1992 which Dean ran as he started to develop the modern Pets Corner.  He built the business to seven stores before buying it from his parents in 1998.  Pets Corner now has 156 stores, a small chain of vets, a growing grooming business and pet crèches.

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My dad was almost the Basil Fawlty of the pet world. He didn’t like customers very much.

Animal welfare was a big thing that I changed – every animal we sold came with a birth certificate which documented where the animal came from and where it went to.

The key thing was customer service and staff training and knowledge. So in the early days I did that research myself and then I trained staff. Now we have twenty odd trainers.

I used to love working in the stores, it was almost relaxing, it was very natural for me to do.

We didn’t have much money to open stores and the first store we did open was a total and utter failure.

We should probably have more board meetings than we have…

I have always wanted to help people who haven’t the opportunities that I’ve had…I will give money to youngsters to help them build their businesses in exchange for, if one day they make a success of it, they give money back to someone else.

I don’t aspire to have a twenty five metre yacht or buy properties. I have my house which I love, I have a nice car which I love.

I wouldn’t invest in something that I felt was immoral or didn’t contribute to society in some way and I very much enjoy the positive things that businesses can bring.