Retail: Revitalising Company Outlooks
While spending cuts and threats of a double dip recession currently dominate the news, the industry waits with bated breath to hear whether a drop in VAT to 5% for RMI (Repair, Maintenance and Improvement) works – now backed by changes to EU law – will come to the fruition in the UK. Those in favour of the changes suggest it will create 100,000 new jobs in industry, boost the economy and encourage the redevelopment of empty properties – for example retail units and social housing developments.
In the meantime, Speller Metcalfe know that it is more important than ever that construction projects deliver the highest quality end-products that stand the test of time and meet client and user requirements from day one. The retail industry demands that the successful contractor be responsive to clients’ needs, competent to manage health and safety issues and capable of meeting fast-track performance programmes.
To this end, our Small Works team are now in the process of completing an £840,000 mall refurbishment and enhancement to the Harvey Centre in Harlow, Essex. Due to the importance of the site remaining live, our site team is currently working night shifts of 6pm – 6am to ensure the project is completed on time.
RMI works include stripping out and refurbishment of current shop units for new tenants, as well as plastering, painting and lighting alterations across the main building. Completion and handover takes place December 2011, and due to the success of the project so far, Speller Metcalfe is in negotiations to begin Phase 2 of the refurbishments in February.
Many of our retail projects are undertaken in similar live environments, whereby adopting flexible working practises becomes an invaluable skill in this sector, and Speller Metcalfe has built an enviable reputation for meeting these parameters nationally through our performance on fit-out contracts, refurbishment, conversions and new build work.
Alongside the current Harvey Centre alterations, our previous retail work has included clients such as Homebase, Sainsbury’s and the Carphone Warehouse, as well as a series of projects across the Co-operative group.
Speller Metcalfe will continue to place emphasis on providing a first-rate retail service, which is demonstrated by our track record for repeat business. In the meantime, however, we await the decision on VAT changes and hope that any new initiatives will have a positive impact on the retail projects, and create further opportunities for the industry as a whole.