Hughes Direct is a family-owned company now in its 90th year of trading! With thirty four Hughes stores, eight Apollo stores and five regional service centres, it’s no wonder Hughes are the largest electrical affiliate partner on Amazon
Hughes Electrical was founded in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1921 by Frank Hughes who trained as an electrical engineer after having served in the cavalry throughout the Great War. Originally the company rewound industrial electrical motors for Lowestoft’s once large fishing fleet but in 1928 Frank bought his first shop in which he built and sold radios and the family literally lived over it for many years. Frank retired in 1946 and his sons Peter and Jim took over the management of the business.
Ever the entrepreneurial company, Hughes were quick to introduce new technologies such as televisions and labour saving kitchen appliances and by renting these products they became affordable for the typical household in the post war austerity years. This early equipment was notoriously unreliable and the engineering background of the company meant it was well placed to develop a large service infrastructure to repair them. Geographic expansion soon followed and by the end of the century Hughes had over 30 shops and 5 service centres located throughout East Anglia. By then management was into its 3rd generation under Robert and Jeremy Hughes meaning the company was and remains to this day a true family business.
Expansion has continued into the next millennium such that Hughes is now the country’s 4th largest specialist electrical retailer and 2nd largest renter of home entertainment and kitchen appliances. Its Hughes Direct website was voted by the readers of the which? magazine in 2010 to be the 2nd best electrical website and its commercial division Hughes Trade is one of the country’s fastest growing business to business suppliers. Hughes has also expanded its retail footprint into the Midlands and the North West with the acquisition of Apollo 2000 giving expertise in the sale of kitchen appliances from large out of town sites. The company has developed a 70,000 sq ft distribution facility in Thetford which supports all the shops, websites, trade centres and service centres and has retained its commitment to service with over 100 fully trained electrical engineers.
Hughes has been gearing up for the Digital Switch-over and with a fleet of 120 commercial vehicles and 10 specialist aerial installers it is looking forward to helping the households of East Anglia through this exciting development. The company motto of “inspiring customer loyalty through quality service” is as relevant and true today as when Frank Hughes first founded the business 90 years ago.