Save Bennetts - The World's Oldest Dept Store

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Bennetts has a longstanding heritage and was established in 1734 making it one of the oldest department stores in the world. The business has a high awareness and brand loyalty in the Derbyshire area with 2 stores in Derby and Ashbourne. Bennetts has been recognised for its traditional values, for being a family owned business and for its wide choice of gifts, homeware, fashion and beauty products.

Many customers still have nostalgic memories of the Derby store being a renowned destination for Christmas and enjoying the traditional tearooms.

Sadly, although the company still engenders a strong feeling of goodwill and loyalty in the local area, customers are increasingly disappointed and have recognised that the business is in decline. The company has lacked investment in recent years, and this is now reflected in the customer offer.

After many years of decline the business now requires a process of reorganisation and reinvestment into a more relevant and up to date customer offer. Young Ideas has been operating very successfully from 1,000 sq. ft. of retail space within the Bennetts Derby store since March 2011. From this experience Young Ideas management have a unique insight into trading in the Cathedral Quarter area of Derby and an insight into the day to day operations, people and management of the existing Bennetts business.

Help Save Bennetts - The World's Oldest Department Store.

Find out more about supporting the Young Ideas rescue bid.


Colin Wright, Chairman

•      Currently Non-Executive Chairman of several UK based ventures
•      Vion, Divisional Managing Director.
•      TRANFIELD, CEO and Chairman
•      Vodafone, Divisional Managing Director.
•      Caudwell Group, Managing Director of Singlepoint
•      Greencore, Divisional Managing Director.
•      Hazlewood Foods, Divisional Managing Director.
•      Rolls Royce, Trainee engine modification.

Anne Wright, CEO Young Ideas
•      Non Executive Director, Roberts Bakery
•      Adelie Foods, Chief Operating Officer
•      Greencore, Chief Executive Convenience Foods
•      Hazlewood Foods, Divisional Managing Director

Tom Phillips – Non Executive Director – Finance
•      A Chartered Accountant with over 25 years post qualification experience.
•      Chairman of a commercial law firm
•      Non-executive director in a financial services business and an IT services business.
•      10-year career with KPMG - corporate finance, corporate turnaround and corporate recovery
•      Director roles within mobile phone businesses to include Director of Telecommunication Systems - Vodafone.
•      Specialised in assisting SMEs though start up, fast growth, fund raising, turnaround and business restructuring projects.

Rob Merrett – Head of Marketing
•      Experienced multi-channel marketing professional.
•      Operated at board level for the past 20 years.
•      Head of Online for the Young Ideas Group
•      Non-Executive Director Brand Cloud Holdings
•      Director at Merrett Commercial Ltd.
•      Qualifications - BA Hons, Graphic Communications Management, Real Estate & Property Management PG Dip, Google Squared Certificate in Digital Marketing and Chartered Marketer status (FCIM).

Paula Preston – Sales and Operations Manager
•      Senior Retail Manager with progressive experience in Sales, Customer Service and Staff Management coupled with a practical understanding and extensive experience in the retail industry.
•      23 years’ service with Next Retail Limited – Undertook the roles of Senior Store Manager, Project Manager and Area Manager.
•      Extensive experience in the areas of Operations Management, Business Development and HR.
•      Sales and Operations Manager at Young Ideas since 2012.

Iain Needham – Head of Finance
•      Experienced accountant with over 15 years post qualification experience within the education, retail and logistic sectors.
•      Management Accountant (UK and Middle East) – Nord Anglia Education (education provider)
•      Financial Controller at (Online Fashion retailer)
•      Commercial Accountant at Idea Shopping Direct (Online and TV retailer)
•      Commercial Finance Manager at Palletforce (Logistics)
•      Qualifications - BA Hons in Accounting and Finance and ACCA qualified

For further information contact 


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Young Ideas 
Bennetts Irongate Ltd, East Midlands, United Kingdom
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