Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue throw parties in January to help motivate their staff for the year ahead .
The strategy is aligned to the retailers’ trading periods, which peak in December, making it difficult for staff to take time off.
The organisations, which are owned by Theo Paphitis, one of the dragons in the BBC Two TV show Dragons’ Den , host two parties, one in London for between 750 and 1,000 staff and one in Manchester for between 450 and 500 staff, where they lay on food and drinks in an informal setting.
Nicki Clarke, group PR director for Paphitis, says: “It is a lot cheaper and more cost-effective than a sit-down meal, and it is a chance for employees from three businesses to mingle and socialise together.
“January is always miserable because no one has any money, so there is always a bit of a lull, particularly as a lot of staff give up drinking for January, so the parties kick the year off and put them on the right step for the year head. We get amazing feedback from staff saying thank-you.”
The parties, which have been running for more 10 years, also help to retain staff .
Clarke adds: “Theo [Paphitis] believes in happy staff and is always doing motivational drives. Consequently, because of what he does, there are staff that have worked for the businesses for years.”
The longest-serving staff member has just retired after 45 years’ service, says Clarke.
The parties are run by experience day and gift provider Red Letter Days.