Working at AO |

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AO Overview
Bolton, England
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Public
Unknown / Non-Applicable
We may have started small, but we’ve always had very big ideas, like totally changing the way people buy appliances. We launched in 2001 and we just haven’t stopped, a years’ worth of achievements always seems more like three at AO. Our customers ... Read more

Mission: To be the Best Electrical Retailer in Europe!

Glassdoor Awards

Highest Rated CEOs:2016 (#9)

Company Updates

  • 64% of our sales executives earn over the 41.5k OTE. We’re looking for great people to join our Manchester Aftercare Sales Team. Are you hungry enough to join them?

  • The Daily Mail has listed AO's HQ in their top 10 offices in the UK!

    Britain's top ten offices: From table football to a sauna

    EXCLUSIVE: Facilities at top ten offices include a spa, roof terrace and hammocks hanging from the ceiling The headquarters of Innocent Drinks in London is modelled on an English fair with fake grass and bunting And many of the offices featured offer free snacks and drinks, movie nights and wellbeing sessions for staff Gone are the days of soulless offices, cluttered desks and drab interiors.

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AO – Why Work For Us?

2000 - John Roberts, our CEO, was in the pub with his friend, who bet him £1 that he couldn't sell appliances online - he took up the challenge!

2001 - John launched Appliances Online, the group's first website selling white goods.

2009 - We acquired two-man delivery company, Expert Logistics. We also launched our Facebook page in 2009 (and it's been growing ever since!).
2010 - We launched our in-house video production facility. Today, the facilities have grown to include 3 studios and a small team of presenters and you'll see the video reviews across the site.
2011 - We were voted number 63 in the Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For!
2012 - We launched our brand spanking new customer service centre in Manchester city centre, creating approximately 150 new jobs. Plus, we went up a whopping 58 places in the Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For to be voted number 5!
2013 - Appliances Online re-launched as! We won the PayPal Best Large Pure Play Etailer award, hit 1 million fans on Facebook, showcased our TV adverts, and moved into our new head office. Phew! We moved up to number 4 in the Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For too!
2014 - Once again we were voted number 4 in the Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For, and we won the Customer Service Initiative award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. We also floated on the London Stock Exchange. We launched our first European operation, with going live in October 2014!
2015- Another huge year for AO! We celebrated our first birthday in Germany, and we also launched the audio-visual category in the UK business. We were awarded the Best Employer at the Retail Awards Week, Top 100 Apprentice Employer, Overall Award for Excellence at the Etail Awards and Large eCommerce Retailer of the year at the eCommerce Awards. We were also voted the UK's joint No.1 online shop by Which!
2016- AO continued to strive in 2016, opening our second warehouse in Crewe, meaning we have over 700,000 sq ft to store our products. After successfully operating in Germany, we expanded across the border into the Netherlands, launching on the 1st March 2016!
2017- The start of 2017 saw John Roberts start a new role as Founder and Executive Director, with then Chief Operating Officer Steve Caunce taking the role of CEO. John still has a hands on role within the business, focusing on innovation and inspiring all AO'ers! In March, it was announced that AO would be sponsoring Britains Got Talent, reaching out to millions of people every week.

Meet the teams at AO

AO employees are our most valuable asset; if we didn’t have great people, we simply wouldn’t have a great business.

It’s thanks to our diverse and talented people that we can deliver an award-winning service for our customers.

Whether it’s sales, customer service, design or software development that’s your passion, we’re sure you’ll find a place at AO that’s right for you.

"90% of our sales people earn more than £41.5k and 81% of our Sales Managers are home grown. Those kinds of numbers sell themselves."

At AO, we do things differently, and our Manchester Division is no exception. In fact, we’d bet there isn’t another one quite like it in the whole city. The atmosphere is unique, the earnings are exceptional, and opportunity is there for the taking. 

The future of retail is online, so yours is pretty safe with us.

At AO, our values are at the core of our business. Our mission is to be the best electrical retailer in Europe, and we will do this by being exceptional in the moments that matter. Why? Because we care more! With ao'ers sharing the same values, this mission is more than achievable! 


"Genuine people make the difference. You can't pay people to care."

At AO, we believe the top value is caring. We have a saying, 'treat every customer like your Gran', so we truly want the customer to have the best experience possible. We also have our own charity to give something back! Our AO Smile foundation, supports disadvantaged children in the local area. We offer a voluntary salary deduction every month if any ao'er would like to make a small contribution that goes a long way!


"We have the courage to try. We think in an unconstrained way to go beyond conventional limits."

Our business was started by John Roberts making a £1 bet in a pub that he wouldn't quit his job to create his vision of selling electrical goods online. So, it was a bold step that created what is now known today as!


"If you enjoy what you do, you do it better. Work is serious and we do it with a smile on our face."

We probably spend the majority of the time we are awake at work, so we want to enjoy it! There’s a saying if you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, so we want to make it enjoyable!


“We find the best way. We are smart through understanding and innovation.”

If we are going to do something we want to do it right! When we expanded into Germany, we were told our double decker Lorries were too large for the bridges, so we thought smart and designed our own lorry that would hold the same number of appliances, and fit under the bridges!


“We are relentless- we deliver what others can’t. We don’t give up and do whatever it takes.”

We do things the AO way! We will tackle any obstacle that is thrown our way to truly become the best electrical retailer in Europe. It is through being driven that we delight our customers on a daily basis.

AO Reviews

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  • Featured Review

    "The Best Place to Work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bolton, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bolton, England
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AO full-time (More than a year)


    Fun and vibrant environment to work in! Lot's of perks such as free snacks and drinks, onsite Starbucks, discounted Spa and subsidised gym membership. All the people share the same values, which is important due to the fast paced nature of the business. There's also lots of exciting opportunities and events that take place throughout the year!


    There's not a lot! Walk to the car park at the end of the day can sometimes be annoying when it's raining, but it's free and only 10 mins away!

See All 98 Reviews

AO Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Junior 3D Modeler Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at AO in March 2017.


    The interview was comprehensive, friendly, somewhat laid back and really allowed me to feel at ease throughout the process, an approach which fits the company. This was really helpful, in particular because my 3D modeling workflow is more suited to the games industry instead of the design sector. I consider it a personal achievement to have gotten as far as I did in spite of this.

    After viewing my portfolio they conducted a phone interview. It was conducted more like a conversation with a friend than anything excessively corporate, which I appreciate. After telling them about myself, why I applied for the position and other related questions, I was shortlisted for an art test. The requirements for it were fairly standard, though with a higher emphasis on model detail than I'm used to. I had a week to carry out a complete modeling workflow, including textures, and finished a day early (though in hindsight I could have cleaned it up in various places, as would soon become apparent).

    Around a week or so later I had a phone call from the same representative telling me that I was not successful. While very disappointing, because I love 3D modeling and AO seemed like a great place to work, the feedback I was given was completely legitmate, and highlighted some things I need to learn. I was told that in spite of this, I am still on record for if they become interested and did better than several other candidates in various respects, and was invited to apply again when the position was re-opened. I look forward to doing so again once I have more experience under my belt!

    Interview Questions

    • Why are you applying for this job instead of one in the games industry?   1 Answer
See All 43 Interviews

AO Awards & Accolades

  • Number 1 Retailer to work for in 2016 According to Employees, Retail Week, 2016
  • Customer Experience Initiative of the Year, Retail Week Awards, 2016
  • Retailer of the Year, Retail Week Awards, 2015
  • Employer of the Year, Retail Week Awards, 2015
  • Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, National Apprenticeship Awards 2015, 2015
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