LDC Top 50 2023
John Pye & Sons
By his late-teens, Adam Pye was already an adept auctioneer, helping his father to sell antiques from their Nottingham base. When he took over the business in 1996 there were 25 people; today John Pye & Sons employs 700 across 21 locations in the UK and Spain selling everything from mobile phones to cars.
His company sells products on behalf of mega brands like Amazon and government departments like the DVLA. “I still write my parents an old-fashioned shareholders report every month,” Pye says. “They are 83 and 93 now but they are energised by the success of the business. It’s been so rewarding to make them proud.”
Not long ago, many of the goods we sell would have gone to landfill. We provide retailers with a more sustainable option while bringing bargains to our customers.”
How big could this company get?
We’re ambitious to say the least. We achieved £33 million turnover last year and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t do £45 million this year. We now have 800,000 registered bidders on our platform, which is incredible. At our peak, we get three million unique hits to the website. When you tell any brand that’s the kind of exposure their assets get at our auctions, they really go for that. We’d also like to increase our reach from our current stronghold in the UK and Spain to a further five countries within the next decade.
Tell me about your impact on people and planet
Not long ago, many of the goods we sell would have gone to landfill. We provide retailers with a more sustainable option while bringing bargains to our customers. On the people side, we generously give 82 per cent of our profit back to our staff and selected ESG projects. I believe that it’s important, as a leader, to share the burdens and the rewards with your team.
What’s been your smartest move to date?
As our business grew, the numbers of people coming to the auctions increased rapidly. People – especially elderly people – were travelling 30 miles to bid for items and then being unable to get into the room. The smartest move we made was to switch to a digital bidding system, so that you can bid on site or remotely.