Bennetts store in Dereham to close this weekend

A large electrical shop in Dereham will shut this weekend nearly a year after the business was rescued by its rival Hughes Electrical.

Bennetts went into administration on March 10 last year but six of its stores, including the Yaxham Road business in Dereham, reopened after Lowestoft-based Hughes took on part of the assets and business of Bennetts on March 22.

At the end of that month stores in Dereham, Hall Road in Norwich, Cromer, Farnham in Surrey, Martelsham and Colchester Tollgate were reopened and continued to trade under the Bennetts name.

But today Hughes Electrical Group announced that the Yaxham Road business, which employs 12 people, will shut on Sunday.

Managing director Robert Hughes said: 'When we acquired Bennetts nearly a year ago plans were already in place to open a bigger Hughes outlet in Dereham, always putting a question mark over the Yaxham Road store's long term future.

'However we were happy to keep the Bennetts store trading to see how it performed. Unfortunately it has continued to operate below expectations in what is a difficult market for electrical products so we have, regrettably, taken the decision to close it.

'I am pleased that all members of staff have been offered alternative positions.'

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He added that during last year the group invested �700,000 in the Hughes stores in Fakenham and Dereham and the Norwich Bennetts store.

In November Dereham's Hughes store moved into the former Warehouse Clearance shop in Nelson Place, next door to its old store, and took on two extra staff.

The business moved into the larger site after a �100,000 investment and national chain Costa Coffee is expected to open in Hughes previous site in the next couple of months.

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