Working at AO |

Glassdoor uses cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies. OK | Learn More

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

  • Of course AO has the North West's coolest office!

    Is this the region's coolest office?

    Employees at electricals giant may be the least stressed in the region - with an on-site pamper pad they can using DURING work hours. The online retailer certainly knows how to look after staff as its Bolton headquarters boasts a glitzy nail and hair salon, relaxing massage room, and on-site Starbucks.

  • 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?

See All See All

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

Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AO CEO John Roberts
John Roberts
79 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "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 110 Reviews

AO Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Digital Brand Apprentice Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Bolton, England
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at AO (Bolton, England) in June 2017.


    The process involved three stages after applying online. First a telephone interview generally talking about what AO is about and getting an idea of who you are. Then a trip to AO for an assessment centre at which you complete a few group activities and a tour and finally an interview focused on their core values in front of a panel of three. Overall the process was fun and not as formal as I expected, everyone you meet is friendly and up for a chat.

    Interview Questions

    • If you were an appliance what would you be?   1 Answer
See All 47 Interviews

AO Awards & Accolades

  • Best UK Retailer, GlobalData, 2017
  • Number 1 Retailer to work for in 2016 According to Employees, Retail Week, 2016
  • Customer Experience Initiative of the Year, Retail Week Awards, 2016
  • Employer of the Year, Retail Week Awards, 2015
  • Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, National Apprenticeship Awards 2015, 2015
See More

Work at AO? Share Your Experiences

  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
Click to Rate