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Hughes to invest in a home-town store

PUBLISHED: 19:18 18 March 2013 | UPDATED: 19:20 18 March 2013

INSIDE UNVEILED: Pictured from left to right, Lowestoft branch manager, Kevin Booth; Phyllis Spratt, Jim Hughes and Robert Hughes.

PICTURE: Supplied.

INSIDE UNVEILED: Pictured from left to right, Lowestoft branch manager, Kevin Booth; Phyllis Spratt, Jim Hughes and Robert Hughes. PICTURE: Supplied.

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Electrical retailer Hughes has created a flagship store in its home town of Lowestoft after a £600,000 investment.

The EDP Top 100 firm recently bought the former Jarrold stationery store next to its existing outlet in London Road North in a move which doubles the store area.

The refurbishment features an expanded range of kitchen appliances and computer equipment on the ground floor, while on the first floor there is now a specialist audio visual department showcasing home cinema technology.

Founded by Frank Hughes in the town in 1921, the Hughes Group, which has a turnover of more than £100m and 750 staff, employs nearly 100 people in Lowestoft at its headquarters and service centre in Mobbs Way and at the London Road North.

Sister companies also include Bennetts, Trade Electricals Direct, Apollo 2000, and Hughes Direct.

Jim Hughes, Hughes Group chairman, who with his sister Phyllis and later brother Peter built up the retail and rental business, before handing over the day-to-day running of the firm to his son Robert in 1996, said: “We are all enormously proud to be a Lowestoft company so it seemed appropriate to further invest in the town and create our flagship outlet.

“The high street in Lowestoft has suffered recently with store closures so we are pleased to be bucking the trend and putting something back into the town.”

Hughes, a former EDP Business Awards business of the year winner, was named both retailer of the year and overall business of the year by the Lowestoft & Waveney Chamber of Commerce in 2012 and was the preferred supplier of kitchen appliances to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Robert Hughes, managing director, said: “There has been much doom and gloom concerning the future of the UK’s high street, and in particular the electrical sector with its much publicised failures.

“However we firmly believe there is room for successful companies to expand in this area as long as they continue to provide outstanding customer service and make their stores pleasant places to visit.”

and was responsible for adding the Bennetts, Trade Electricals Direct, Apollo 2000 and Hughes Direct divisions.

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