Norwich, Dereham and Cromer Bennetts stores are re-opened by Hughes

Three of the recently closed Bennetts' stores in Norfolk are back up and running under the ownership of Lowestoft-based Hughes electrical, saving 117 jobs.

Bennetts is trading once more in Norwich after its Hall Road shop was re-opened.

The superstore was closed last month when the well-established Norfolk retailer went into administration.

But it is one of six stores to be rescued by Lowestoft-based Hughes Electrical, saving 117 jobs – 33 of them at the Hall Road site – following 228 staff being made redundant after Bennetts went into administration on March 10.

The Hall Road shop is joined by the stores in Dereham and Cromer in re-opening, with outlets in Martlesham in Suffolk, Farnham in Surrey and Colchester Tollgate also open again.

Stores which will not reopen include Longwater, Holt, Diss, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford and a second Colchester store.

Hughes Electrical managing director, Robert Hughes is delighted to get the shops open again, which will retain their original Bennetts branding.

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He said: 'We have been working flat out since we acquired the stores on March 22 and it's a great tribute to all concerned that we have got them open again so quickly.

'I am glad to say we have been able to recruit a total of 117 former Bennetts' staff.'

The Dereham shop, in Yaxham Road, has enjoyed an 'overwhelming' response from customers since it reopened last Friday.

Twelve staff are employed there – as it did before it shut – and all are former Bennetts employees who either worked at Dereham or other outlets.

While staff at the Cromer shop, on the North Norfolk Retail Park off Holt Road, breathed a collective sigh of relief after all kept hold of their jobs.

The store used to employ six full-time and one part-time member of staff, all of whom have retained their jobs and have been handling stock from the closed Holt branch.

The Hall Road store will open 9am to 8pm weekdays, Saturdays 9am-6pm and Sundays 10.30am-4.30pm.

Hughes have written to all Bennetts customers who they have a record of waiting for a product to be delivered, but if you are waiting to hear about goods you had purchased you should write to: Hughes Electrical, Mobbs Way, Oulton, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 3AL, and include a copy of your receipt.

Have you got a shops story for the Evening News? Contact Matt Sparkes on 01603 772410 or email matt.sparkes@archant.co.uk

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