Kitchen specialist Cameron Interiors hands over ownership to its employees

Scottish Bulthaup retailer Cameron Interiors has given ownership of its business to its employees.

Said to be one of the first employee-owned companies of its type in the UK, Cameron Interiors operates two showrooms in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Since 1997, it has been run by managing director Kirsten Robeson (pictured) and her husband Ian, who took over from founder Leonard Cameron, who started the business in 1979.

The high-end retailer said it had been considering a trade sale, but rejected the idea and chose instead to “entrust and empower” its dedicated team of 12, some of whom have been with the business for 40 years.

The retailer works with private clients, architects and carefully selected developers, such as Edinburgh-based Square and Crescent.

The staff at Cameron Interiors

Said MD Kirsten of the decision: “This is my chance to ‘pay it forward’ to a brilliant team that have enabled us to cement our position in the market and allow us all to look forward to a bright future.

“Designing kitchens at this upper end of the market is a deeply personal process and the people and the service are as essential as the unwavering quality of the product.

“The notion of selling to a trade buyer was a non-starter, as so much would be put at risk. When I found out about employee ownership I was intrigued.”

She was told out about the employee ownership option by the business’s accountants Consilium CA, which guided the company through the process.

All shares in Cameron Interiors have been placed into an Employee Ownership Trust with all staff immediately becoming beneficiaries. In time, they will also benefit from an annual share of any profits.

Kirsten will remain as MD for the medium term to support and advise the business, but ultimately intends to retire with husband Ian to spend more time with family. She will also take a seat on the board along with Edinburgh showroom manager Louise Delaney, who has many years’ experience in growing the business and played a crucial role in its east coast expansion

Aileen Wilson will remain as manager at the Glasgow store, having played an important part in the management team.

The business was also advised during the deal by Carole Leslie of Ownership Associates, who commented: “Cameron Interiors is the embodiment of quality kitchen and interior design in Scotland – renowned not just in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but throughout the country.

“Brands like theirs are so often family affairs, making succession difficult. In becoming the first to go through employee ownership they are blazing a trail, one that I’m sure many more will follow.”


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