I have known Derek Hughes for some twenty years as an Entrepreneur, Retailer and Businessman. Without doubt, Derek has a wide and in depth knowledge of Ireland as a market and in particular retailing and branding. I am aware of his two businesses, Hughes and Hughes Ireland – a key book retail business, his retail airport concessions and his involvement in founding and developing insomnia. Derek’s values are many but the key is his strategic “out of the box” thinking and of equal importance is his integrity and work ethic. I am delighted to provide this letter and would be more than happy to supply a personal reference by phone.
John Gallagher/ CHAIRMAN CROWNWAY PROPERTY & INVESTMENT COMPANY
Derek is a retail innovator who has a clear strategic vision of the retail market. An excellent marketeer with a strong consumer focus, Derek also has a strong knowledge and skill set with respect to the retail property market. I have always viewed Derek as a professional retailer who has created two great brands in Insomnia Coffee and Hughes & Hughes.
Leo Crawford/ BWG GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE
“Derek Hughes is one of Ireland’s foremost retail strategists. He has created and commercialised some of Ireland’s most innovative and customer facing retail store concepts including the Insomnia Coffee Chain and Hughes & Hughes Booksellers (now trading as Eason). In his career Derek has predicted future trends and consumer demands and has delivered a retail concept to meet the opportunity head on. He has always innovated and has never simply followed the pack. In his role as Board member and Trustee of Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) Derek has shaped Ireland’s largest retail industry group to deliver meaningful services and supports to over 1,000 leading retail companies trading in the ROI market. Through Derek’s involvement in REI he has assisted in the exponential, growth of REI. Derek has assisted and guided many member companies over the years. He is pragmatic and insightful and having cast his eye over a retail model can offer immediate practical and significantly beneficial insight and advice”
David Fitzsimons / CEO RETAIL EXCELLENCE IRELAND