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Boss of Lowestoft-based Hughes says diversification and a strong balance sheet are the key to its success

PUBLISHED: 06:27 19 March 2013

CEREMONIAL CUTTING: From left to right, Robert Hughes; Jim Hughes; Phyllis Spratt and Kevin Booth.

PICTURE: Supplied.

CEREMONIAL CUTTING: From left to right, Robert Hughes; Jim Hughes; Phyllis Spratt and Kevin Booth. PICTURE: Supplied.

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Hughes boss Robert Hughes said a strong balance sheet and a commitment to reinvesting its profits was the cornerstone of is success.

Speaking as the firm unveiled a £600,000 investment in its Lowestoft store to double the floorspace, and create a flagship retail space in the firm’s home town, Mr Hughes said the firm is bucking the trend of doom and gloom in the high street.

And he xplained why is it going from strength-to-strength when retailers such as Comet are shutting up shop.

“Firstly we have a very strong balance sheet which has been built up over the last 90 years,” he said. “This has been achieved by reinvesting the profits back into the company principally by buying the properties that we retail from. The Lowestoft shop is a case in front when we bought the first shop in 1964 and its neighbouring store last year.

“We avoid taking on much debt and particularly leverage buy outs that have caused the failure of so many other retailers.

“Another reason why we have had a good recession is that we have diversified away from high street sales, we are now a true multi-channel retailer with over half our turn over now on the internet or in business to business markets or in the rental and service of equipment.

“This means that we have had record sales this year despite the down turn in shop based business.

“Regarding shop sales I feel we have a genuine point of diffencernce in electrical retailing. We focus on service and advice both in store and in home to a level which supermarkets, the internet and national retailers cannot match. With over 120 vehicles, we do the last mile to the customers house better than anyone else as demonstrated with the successes achieved during digital switchover.”

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