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.


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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  • I agree with most of the negative comments added here. Rather than ordering staff to come on here and post positive comments, the area manager could take the criticism and use it to improve!!

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    first last

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • I have shopped at the Beccles shop on many occasions and found the salespeople to be friendly informative and knowledgeable , helping me to come to a decision in what I have been looking for. I have always been more than satisfied with the service I have received from Hughes and recomend them to my family and friends

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    John D

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • What an amazing company and with an fantastic commitment to looking after their customers. I have always shopped with Hughes weather that be in Diss, Beccles, Lowestoft, Norwich or Halesworth. They always have a great undertanding of the products and have always given me excellent service both during the sale and more importantly after the sale. Who else would come to my house at 10pm to re-tune my TV???

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    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • Have used Hughes for over 30 years and have always been impressed with their customer care, however, judging by their Beccles staff recently they are now using hard sell tactics and "bullying" to sell items, if they continue like this they will soon be following the likes of Comet. I, for one, will nolonger shop in Hughes.

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    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • I used to shop at Hughes all the time. Their shops were warm and inviting, and the staff was always friendly and polite. Now you have to wade through the minefield of displays, it's confusing as there seems to be no concise product floor plan. I have tried to get used to it, but staff seem perplexed when you question their service and expect you to buy into it. It's all pressure sales tactics. I shopped at Hughes because you could get away from the pressure of big shed sales tactics and now I'm afraid I now purchase on the internet. At least I can make my own informed choices about what I buy without the added pressures of purchasing the many extras they want you to buy. Internet 1, Hughes -1 :-(

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • I have recently purchased a DVD player at my local Hughes store and feel the need to say how happy I was with the service and attitude I received from Tom and all the staff. I will continue to shop locally in supporting Hughes as Hughes endeavour to support my needs.

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    J Mayo

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

  • After a recent visit to the lowestoft store i for one will not be using the store again, The staff where rude and unhelpful which is a shame they used to be fantastic i actually got much better service and help from curry's. I hope they improve or they will lose more customers.

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    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  • This company is no different from the rest, just like Comet were. I have been in our local store and the sales assistants seem more concerned with their displays and having a chat than serving customers. Then you ask a question and they go and get the instructions for the tv set!

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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