Timpson staff thank chief executive for his support Article icon


Staff at Timpson, the cobblers to key cutting group, have created a YouTube video in which they thank the company and chief executive James Timpson for keeping them on full pay while the business is on lockdown.

The family-owned business announced on 23 March that it was temporarily closing all 2,150 shops, which include Johnson and Snappy Snaps, and ‘going into hibernation’.

In a tweet from @JamesTCobbler, James Timpson announced: ‘All our wonderful colleagues will remain on full pay, and will look forward to seeing you all when we reopen.’

Timpson employs 5,500 staff, including 650 directly from prison, and has a £2.5 million weekly wage bill.

The video begins with a montage of newspaper cuttings and tweets about Timpson’s actions prior to the lockdown, which included donating the office car park to NHS staff at Wythenshawe Hospital ‘because they need it more than we do’.

Dozens of Timpson staff are filmed saying ‘thank you James’, with Sister Sledge’s We Are Family as a musical backdrop, and adding personal messages of gratitude for keeping them and their families safe and informed during the period.

Timpson has developed a reputation for treating its employees fairly, and even employs a director of happiness, who oversees a monthly reward scheme - Random Acts of Kindness - to recognise staff who go above and beyond their normal duties.
Believing that business is ‘about people and their initiative’, the company follows what it calls an ‘upside down management approach’, in which staff in Timpson’s branches are empowered to change displays, alter pricing and offer compensation to settle disputes. There are just two rules that prevail. Staff have to ‘look the part’ and ‘put the money in the till’.