Carl Thompson is the second generation of his family in charge of Thompsons Electricals, and says being a bit different is the key to the firm’s success.

Carl, 51, took over from his father Tony who set up the business in the 1970s.

For Carl, it was always something on the radar, he said: “I went and studied electrical engineering when I was younger and then did that for a few years.

“When my father asked me if I wanted to come and work for him it was a natural fit.

“I knew it was always an option for me and so it was really good to move into the family business.”

On their base at the Perrywood Trading Estate, Thompsons has a large car park and plenty of space, and Carl says this makes it much easier: “Now we’ve moved out of the town centre it’s easier for people who want to come and look round.

“What makes us a bit different is that people can just walk in and choose an item and get it straight away.

“At the big firms you can’t do that, so being a bit different really makes a difference. If your washing machine or fridge dies, you don’t want to wait two weeks for a new one you want one straight away.”

Being a family firm, Carl says it is the close-knit environment at Thompsons that keeps customers coming back: “We’re definitely a close team, some of us have been here over 20 years and customers know that they will see the same people each time.

“We get lots of return customers, especially generations of customers and people who’s parents bought things from us in the past and now we’re the first place they come.”

Carl is keen to stress the importance of people to the business, saying: “You have to know your products and know your market, but much more than that you need to know people too.

“Offering something a bit different and being convenient is a great way to build that relationship with your customers.”

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