Regional/Ipswich: New Hughes Plus store now open in Felixstowe Road

Robert Hughes outside the first  new Hughes Plus store. Robert Hughes outside the first new Hughes Plus store.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
1:53 PM

Hughes switches on to `click and collect’ shopping

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Electrical retail group Hughes is aiming to build on the growing popularity of “click and collect” online shopping.

A new Hughes Plus is to be introduced at a number of its larger stores, including the new branch in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, to which the company has relocated from the Ransomes Europark.

The new location will also house the Ipswich branch of Hughes’ Trade Electricals Direct operation.

However, the Bennetts brand − which was initially retained after Hughes bought its former rival out of administration in 2011 − is now to disappear.

And three of the group’s smaller stores, in Colchester, Woodbridge and Bowthorpe, near Norwich, which are deemded too close to other branches or too small to carry sufficient stock to offer a click and collect facility are to close. Hughes said all staff affected had been offered alternative jobs at other Hughes or Hughes Plus stores.

The company’s store in Hall Road, Norwich, is the first to be rebranded as Hughes Plus, with the Mason Road branch in the city due to follow. Former Bennetts outlets in Colchester, Martlesham Heath, Norwich and Cromer will also take on the Hughes Plus identity and new Hughes Plus stores are planned in Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth and Wisbech.

Robert Hughes, managing director, said: “Fewer electrical products are being bought in store making it harder to justify our two existing brands

“Of those people who do buy in a shop 60% have already looked at the product online. A single brand is a lot easier and more cost effective to promote across all these media channels.

“We have not shut a shop for over a decade so it is not a decision taken lightly but the changing market means that it was necessary,” he added.

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