Derek died on Monday 18 January aged 87, in his hometown of Napier. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years Audrey and his two sons Graeme and Stephen.
Derek had been an integral member of the Mitre 10 family since March 1975, when the hardware chain he co-founded 14 years prior, Scott & Ricketts, became one of the first provincial stores to join the Mitre 10 Group.
In 1979 Derek was appointed to the Mitre 10 Board, and served as Chairman from 1985 until 1988.
“He was a wonderful man, who, since joining the Mitre 10 family over 40 years ago contributed in so many different ways,” says Mitre 10 CEO, Neil Cowie.
“He was the epitome of a true gentleman who always, at every opportunity, lived the values of the Mitre 10 co-operative.
“He was always generous with his time for fellow Members and always acted with absolute integrity.”
Derek’s ambition was always to run his own business. Having done this successfully, he would assist others where he could to help them realise this ambition too.
Aside from growing the Ricketts network to two Mitre 10 MEGA stores in Hastings and Napier – Hastings being the first ever Mitre 10 MEGA to open – the family also entered into joint ventures to open two additional Mitre 10 MEGA stores in Kapiti and Westgate.
Last year, Derek and Audrey were inducted into the inaugural Mitre 10 Hall of Fame in recognition of their commitment and service to outstanding home improvement retailing.
“It was an absolute privilege to be able to honour Derek with the Hall of Fame Award last year,” says Neil Cowie.
“He was a role model who helped form our foundations, legacy and heritage and who really was a true example of what it means to be a Mitre 10er.
“Derek’s diligence and passion were unlike any other, and he always remained humble and very much down to earth.
“He will be greatly missed and will be remembered fondly by all of us here at Mitre 10.”
On behalf of NZ Hardware Journal, in whose pages Derek Ricketts, his family and businesses have appeared on a regular basis over the last several decades, we offer our condolences to the Ricketts family and friends.
Below (L-R): A family in the business - Stephen, Derek, Audrey and Graeme Ricketts.