Derek starting working with Niall and I early as we started the flying business in Ireland. He provided both formal and informal mentoring support, specifically providing us with a insight and advice around property, finance and growth potential. Derek facilitated monthly planning sessions - which allowed us the discipline of reflection and taking time out of the business to work on the business, but also the indispensable gift of having our assumptions and decisions challenged to make them as robust as possible. Derek proved himself to be a wise and reflective confidant with an excellent knowledge of retail in general, but even more specifically in Ireland and we valued the contribution he made to us in the growth of our business.
One Eighty Degrees work was excellent. They provided great strategic support and insights with our development plans. They worked seamlessly with all our key stakeholders with passion and enthusiasm. They demonstrated real commitment to the project and added real value.
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.
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.
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.