32 LORD & MARTIN HARRIS
2018: £110m 2017: £110m (32nd=)
Lord Harris took over the family carpet business at the age of 15 after his father’s death. He sold this business, which had become Harris Queensway, in 1988 netting £69m. But he is better known for Carpetright, which he founded soon after. When he stood down as chairman of the Rainham-based business in 2014 after 57 years in the trade, Carpetright had more than 600 shops and annual sales of nearly half a billion pounds. He netted share sales of at least £50m from Carpetright over the years. The Harris family is not listed as a major shareholder any more. Indeed Carpetright is struggling, with plans to close 92 stores and a £70.5m loss recorded for 2017-18. Its stock market value has fallen to £78m. Harris and his son Martin have now taken on Carpetright with a new venture called Tapi (French for carpets). It achieved over £30m sales in 2016. We still value Harris and his family at around £110m, although he would have been much richer but for his charitable work, which includes the Harris Federation of 44 school academies.