The Hughes Electrical Group has announced it is investing over £1m to build a brand new 5,500 sq ft state of the art store in Great Yarmouth.
It will be built on the site of the derelict Two Bears Hotel which is set to be demolished and the new store will be open for business early next year.
Hughes Electrical also expects all contracts involved in the building and fitting out of the new store to go to local companies and to employ extra staff once opened.
“We see this very much as a vote of confidence in Great Yarmouth and its future and are delighted with the prospect of opening our new store,” said Hughes Electrical managing director Robert Hughes.
“It will enable us to respond to the demands of today’s customers who want easy access by car with free parking outside the store in order to collect items ordered online. They also want to see a wide range of products on one level. Our new Great Yarmouth store will offer all of this which sadly our current store cannot.”
The site is to be purchased from Citygate Developments who obtained planning consent for the development in December.
“We have been in discussions with Citygate for some months but waited until after the important Christmas trading period before making the final decision to see how our store in the centre of Great Yarmouth performed,” said Robert Hughes. “Regrettably business was disappointing and we also had to take into account the fact that annual sales are now 20% lower than what was achieved a decade ago despite the quality of our staff and customer service and the loss of key competitors such as Bennetts and Comet. This sales performance is in stark contrast to our other stores.”
“I would emphasise that Hughes has been trading in the area for over 90 years and we are totally committed to Great Yarmouth and its success. In our opinion, such a big financial commitment is necessary if we are to be able to continue to serve our many customers for decades to come.”
The original historic statues of the two bears will be carefully removed (before demolition) and will feature prominently in the new store’s design.