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BUILDING DESIGN &

CONSTRUCTION

Goldhill Contracting Ltd has over 100 years combined management experience within the Strip Out, Office Demolition and Site Service Industry.

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Client satisfaction is fundamental to our success and our wealth of experience and long term working relationships with our clients has earned us a respectable name in the industry.

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AUGUST 2012 ISSUE 177

We pride ourselves on the quality of our service, providing a professional, skilled and experienced project team, from general operatives to site managers, support and office staff, who all contribute to ensure a contract runs smoothly and effectively from start to finish.

AUGUST 2012

⌃ Nationwide services, provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week Strip Out Services: ⌃ Soft Strip Out ⌃ M & E Strip Out

UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF THE MEMBERS Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the BPF talks about the challenges of representing property investors

⌃ Structural Walls ⌃ Non Structural Walls ⌃ Heavy Plant ⌃ Mezzanine Floors Site Services: ⌃ Lift & Shift ⌃ Project Management ⌃ Site Set Up ⌃ Site Tidy ⌃ Waste Removal ⌃ General Builders Work ⌃ Office Furniture ⌃ Installation ⌃ Wall and Floor Chasing Cleaning Services: ⌃ New Build Cleans ⌃ External Cleaning ⌃ Industrial Cleaning

First Floor, 5 Chapel Street Stratford­upon­Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6EP Tel: 01789 295283 Fax: 01789 293110 E: info@goldhillcontracting.co.uk W: www.goldhillcontracting.co.uk

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RETAIL: THE BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

SAVING SCOTLAND’S HIGH STREETS he Scottish Property Federation recently welcomed a Govern-ment commissioned independent report recommending local authorities adopt a town centre first policy and Holyrood takes a fresh look at business rates incentives. The National Review of Town Centres, led by architect Malcolm Fraser, recognised that the solution to ailing high streets is not just going to be retail, but a stronger mix of leisure, public facilities and homes in towns. The recommendations of the review include a "town centre first" principle whereby public bodies will consider how they can support town centres before considering development elsewhere. Other considerations involve working with housing providers to bring empty town cen-

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tre properties back into use as affordable housing, as well as a town centre focus to review current business rates incentivisation schemes. In addition, it is recommended that public bodies should consider the impact of proposals to relocate services out of town centres, and broadening the appeal of town centres with a mix of leisure, public facilities and homes. David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “The issues of concern with the high street have been with us for some 30-40 years now. Put simply the high street needs to redefine itself as a destination. The fundamentals have completely shifted and we need to think differently about how we’re going to make our town centres a place for people to use going forward. “Retail isn’t the only solution. High streets rely on footfall and anything that can be done to

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drive this should be encouraged - whether this be leisure, medical surgeries or even homes. Diversification will be key for former retail units that may not be viable again as shops. “As things stand this review recommends strengthening much existing policy, such as the sequential approach to development, the business rates incentivisation scheme and the limited support available for converting former commercial premises to residential uses. We welcome however the proposal that large public sector bodies themselves should support town centres in terms of their own corporate location. Government clearly has a lot of hard work to do in pulling together an action plan in the autumn.” www.bpf.org.uk Tel: 020 7828 0111

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RETAIL: THE BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

FEWER SHOPS AND NEW USES FOR HIGH STREETS SAYS BPF he British Property Federation today told an influential committee of MPs that in order for high streets to survive they need to contract and empty units be converted into other uses, such as residential and even community facilities like doctors and dentists surgeries. Giving evidence at the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) inquiry into the retail sector chief executive of the British Property Federation Liz Peace also highlighted the damaging impact of business rates – both to retailers and landlords in the form of empty property rates – in driving money away from where it was most needed to help maintain and regenerate high streets. Peace said: “The 20th century saw a rapid expansion of high streets that simply cannot be supported today. Even putting aside the current economic troubles, there’s less demand for high street retail and we’re likely to witness further contractions, particularly outside the retail core. “Facilitating this shrinkage while finding alternative uses for properties that clearly have no retail future is where the focus should be. And the solution isn’t necessarily retail; there are other uses, like doctors and dentists surgeries as well as resi-

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Liz Peace

dential that could occupy these buildings and drive football. “With business rates in most parts of the country increasing far more rapidly than rents, and by over 200% since 1991, the burden to both retailers and landlords continues to increase. “In terms of the bigger picture it needs to be considered whether a tax that exaggerates the advantages of internet retailers over the high street is fair at all.”

REMINDER TO LANDLORDS: PROTECT YOUR MONEY AND NOT JUST YOUR REPUTATION he British Property Federation is reminding landlords that recent legislative change forcing letting agents to join an Ombudsman Scheme will not protect their money. Letting agents are uniting for the second national SAFEagent Awareness Week to remind consumers of the importance of choosing a let-

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Ian Fletcher

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ting agent which offers Client Money Protection. Agents will commonly deal with tens, or even hundreds of thousands of pounds of landlords and tenants’ money, collecting rents and deposits. It is rare, but not unheard of for some agents to abscond with their clients’ money, and very difficult to recover money in such circumstances. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, makes it a requirement that letting agents should offer redress by being members of an Ombudsman scheme. This is in the process of being implemented and will undoubtedly have a welcome influence on raising standards in the sector. However, if landlords and tenants want to ensure their money is protected they should check that the agent they use has client money protection, by looking out for the Safe Agent logo. Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation, said: “Landlords need to be wise in their choice of letting agent. Just because the letting agency sector is facing increased regulation does not mean their money will be protected. This week is Safe Agent Week, and provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce a message that landlords still should be ensuring their agent is a Safe Agent offering client money protection.”

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RETAIL: HOLLAND & BARRETT

THE

GOOD

LIFE

WITH 711 STORES ACROSS THE UK AND IRELAND HOLLAND & BARRETT IS EUROPE’S LEADING RETAILER OF VITAMINS, MINERALS AND HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS AND WAS AWARDED “SPECIALITY RETAILER OF THE YEAR” 2012

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RETAIL: HOLLAND & BARRETT uccessful retailing is generally dependent on listening to customers and acting on what they say. That, together with a change in the market, led to Holland & Barrett embarking on a store refit programme that started with one trial location and gathered pace due to positive feedback on customer experience. The company is Europe’s leading retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, with 711 stores across the UK and Ireland, international franchises in other countries and three other brands across Europe as part of the same group (trading as GNC, De Tuinen and Essenza). The size of the estate means a massive refit programme that, as Director of Property Gurdial Flora explains, is being undertaken through a phased approach: “It’s going to take a while to hit all the stores so we’re prioritising based on the time since the last refit, the store’s turnover and ranking. We’re also looking at when the current

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lease expires and whether we want to relocate or renew. It’s part of an overall strategy that covers asset management, refits, relocations, concepts, whether we want to downsize or upsize. Everything’s being looked at and we have a plan we’re managing.” FRESH IMAGE The aim is to give all stores a fresh image although a standard template isn’t being rigorously applied to each one. The general approach has been to change from a light beech finish to a dark Cordoba Olive laminate for a modern feel. Within that are three basic styles, which have been refined since the project started — standard Cordoba finish, standard plus goal posts that have zoning for particular product categories and concept stores that apply to only the biggest sites and have exclusive product lines such as jelly bean units, beauty stands, cereal and oil dispensers, and pick and mix counters. Although all stores potentially have variations, they are based on standard designs adjusted to

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individual sites. “It’s based on the store size and the area’s demographics,” recounts Head of Facilities Management Alison McHugh. “We’ll liaise with the retail, merchandising and trading teams to see if there are any special concepts they want in the store. We then use the in-house design team to design and deliver accordingly.” Since our stores aren’t especially big when compared to other national retailers outlets, each refit doesn’t have to be individually tendered. Instead, as Alison points out, contractors deliver several stores a year on a turnkey basis: “The shop fit contracts are tendered yearly to produce a list of four approved contractors to work on our stores. Because we have a fixed fit-out style and the concepts are fairly standard, it’s a process that happens once a year and approved contractors are allocated a certain number of stores.” The same principle applies to the fitting out of new stores, with Holland & Barrett having an aggressive acquisition programme aiming to add

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RETAIL: HOLLAND & BARRETT

some thirty stores a year, some being relocations, with a big focus on Greater London and large cities. The emphasis is on stores that can accommodate the concept format due to feedback showing these improve customer experience and increase sales. Although there’s no preference between shopping centres and high streets, they have to be prime sites. “We’re very cautious about where we site new stores, especially with the potential demise of the high street,” remarks Gurdial. “We’re being very particular and looking at demographics, with a requirements list that’s extensive and focused, going out to agents who introduce potential units. Our Acquisitions Manager reviews these and presents the ones that are of interest at the weekly property meeting with the CEO. The opportunities that are of interest are then assessed by area sales managers and regional sales managers and then each goes through a viability assessment, based on our company acquisitions

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strategy, that includes return on investment calculations and the minimum contribution we require from the store. If it’s viable, a deal will be negotiated and we process it.” SITE ASSESSMENT There’s a regular strategy review of potential sites because a particular area or location can alter and so the requirements list changes constantly. As Alison recounts, results from the new store programme and customer feedback surveys change the company’s perception of possible sites: “We’ve gained valuable information from certain new store openings about the store layouts, size of stores, local and catchment demographics.” That’s part of the ongoing feedback that’s used to determine the retail estate strategy and is based on exit surveys and interviews, questionnaires, store performance statistics and the company’s Rewards for Life loyalty card. This provides a lot of customer

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RETAIL: HOLLAND & BARRETT insight in terms of who the customer is, what the average transaction value is and where customers are travelling from as well as a number of other things. That enables more mapping, analyses and understanding of the customer base. There’s a bespoke property management system that holds all data relative to the property estate and provides vital information for the various functions within the Property Department. But, as Gurdial emphasises, the various sections don’t operate in isolation: “We’re a very tightly knit department where everybody links with everyone else. Our macro property strategy feeds into the various parts of the department at micro level where everybody is talking the same language with the aid of the bespoke central property system that links into the estates management, the maintenance helpdesk, the project managers and acquisitions as well as the legal team and regulatory services. It’s a central master tool that enhances communication, improves transparency, improves efficiency and overall ensures everybody is talking the same language and actioning towards the overall property strategy.” LOCAL CONTRACTORS The central property system also helps with the sourcing of contractors for reactive and preventive maintenance, with a preference for local suppliers where possible since this helps the local economy and is generally more cost-effective. However, specialist companies are used for particular types of equipment and there’s a team of national builders and shop fitters that provide a benchmark against local firms. All the work, as Gurdial recounts, is strictly controlled: “We have a programme each year that’s based on actual spend and a forecast of major expenditure based on the number of stores we want to open. The capital expenditure budget is based on that and maintenance is based on the

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amount being spent now plus a percentage for inflation.” The budget includes environmental work, which covers a current trial of LED lights to assess the potential return on investment. That’s been complicated by a need for wall wash lighting that highlights the products but with no LED lighting equivalent available. A solution is being developed because the correct lighting is crucial to create the best shopping experience. Another environmental development is smart metering, which has so far been installed in 470 stores and is intended to be rolled out further. That’s shown improvement in some stores but not in others where equipment is being left on when not needed and the aim is to change that

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RETAIL: HOLLAND & BARRETT

“WE HAVE OUR PLAN IT GREEN POLICY WHERE THE PLAN IS TO REDUCE CONSUMPTION AND MAKE THE BUSINESS GREENER” ALISON MCHUGH HEAD OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

behaviour. “We have our Plan It Green policy where the plan is to reduce consumption and make the business greener,” confirms Alison. “It makes people aware of energy consumption in stores. There are hints and tips such as switching off air conditioning, only boiling half kettles, making sure heaters and lights are switched off, that sort of thing. We’re also trialling PIR switches in the back of house areas to see the outcome.” As part of the Plan It Green policy, the company is to adopt 100% sustainable power throughout its UK store estate. That’s being provided by Haven Power in the form of electricity generated from biomass, a form of stored solar energy from plantbased materials such as woodchip. That will significantly lower the company’s carbon footprint and continues its ethical approach that has included banning single use plastic bags and removing certain chemicals for toiletry products.

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BRAND IDENTITY The main plan now is to complete the store refit programme and develop and implement more concept stores. Allied to the UK programme are the new store fit-outs and the need to maintain standards in the overseas franchised store. Gurdial says: “We’re expanding globally and there’s going to be massive growth over the coming years. For the global franchising, whilst they have got their own business structure, any new shop designs have to be approved here in the UK to ensure consistency and the brand image is maintained. We take into account each country has a different style but we need to ensure that the rollout within those countries is consistent and the brand identity is maintained.” www.hollandandbarrett.com Tel: 02476 215540

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Waterstones :feature 2 16/07/2013 10:55 Page 36

RETAIL: WATERSTONES ew owners for Waterstones provided investment and the opportunity to bring the property portfolio up-to-date after years of underinvestment. That resulted in a store refurbishment programme that started with a prototype store and is now rolling through the rest of the estate. Waterstones was founded in 1982 and took on the Dillons and Ottakar’s brands when under the ownership of HMV. The outcome is a portfolio of around 295 stores that are a diverse mixture of the original iconic and often listed properties that were a feature of both Waterstones and Dillons and smaller stores in market towns that were characteristic of Ottakar’s. The change of ownership in 2010, coupled with the appointment of a new Managing Director and the availability of investment, prompted a refurbishment programme for the store portfolio. “The early prototype was Twickenham, a small single floor store that conceptualised and pulled together the

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PASSIONATE

ABOUT BOOKS WATERSTONES’ MISSION IS TO BE THE LEADING BOOKSELLER ON THE HIGH STREET AND ONLINE PROVIDING CUSTOMERS THE WIDEST CHOICE, GREAT VALUE AND EXPERT ADVICE FROM A TEAM PASSIONATE ABOUT BOOKSELLING.

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES ideas from our new MD who was keen on taking us more up market,” recalls Head of Shop Development Tom Hutchinson. “We introduced wood floors, overhauled lighting and trimmed existing bookcases to add character and wood veneers and really improved the look and feel of the store. “After that, we ran a three store pilot in larger shops in Brighton, Glasgow and Norwich, then progressed from there. The lighting schemes were critical, more focused on the product, whilst lowering general light levels and using a design that in some ways hides unattractive suspended ceilings. We introduced broadloom carpets and more wood. For the display furniture, we moved away from heavy laminated MDF unitary to much more design-led pieces constructed of wood veneers or tulip wood to give anything that customers come into contact with a quality feel. Ultimately, we are making the shopping environment higher quality and one that means our customers interaction with the shop is a more pleasing experience.” Around 45 stores were completed in the first year and that figure is set to significantly increase this

year. The process, as Tom emphasises, is one of treating each store individually rather than having a standard look and feel across the whole estate: “We’re trying to create shops that fit their environment. We have many beautiful buildings and want to make the retail elements of these shops work within this often challenging space as opposed to trying to fit-out using a standard uniform format. “Our approach is therefore to look at each building individually, decide the way we want to make the bookshop work and then fit in the product. There are many more local and bespoke elements going in rather than churning out a refit product, more looking at each shop and working out what suits best its architecture, environment and customer.” BROWSING EXPERIENCE An aim of the refurbishment programme has been to create a more comfortable experience for customers to browse in a relaxed atmosphere. Part of that has been the introduction of Waterstones own brand coffee shops, Café W, whilst also continuing to work with existing concession partners such as Costa. The rise of online shopping and downloadable e-books have also been addressed by selling Kindles and related products in a dedicated, high profile area of the store. “The technology of digital reading is here to stay and many of our customers use Kindles, iPads and other

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digital reading devices,” remarks Tom. “We’re not shying away from that but accept it. Customers play with the Kindles, have a coffee in the Café W and then may buy some books.” One of the original trial stores, Norwich, is a good example of what has been achieved. It had been a traditional Ottakar's store, crammed full of bookcases and difficult to navigate due to obstacles created when the shop was originally fitted out. The solution was to reposition bookcases against the walls, creating a real sense of additional space without the loss of display space. The latest store to complete is Trafalgar Square, where the back office and ancillary space has been reduced in size and relocated into a large basement, enabling a complete refit of the store. Waterstones is working closely with Costa to integrate the coffee shop better into the overall fit-out so their space works more coherently with the book offer. It’s also introduced parquet flooring throughout the ground floor, examples of the company learning from every store it does and carrying changes through into succeeding ones. RIGHT ENVIRONMENT Tom says: “Shops are built to plan and generally look great but often arrangements of the bookcases on plan sometimes don’t work in reality. They can block natural light or visibility to a key display area

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES

and we react very quickly to that. Although we might be near to completion of a site, we will rectify problems such as this which means we’re not a slave to the programme. We need to get these shops correct and fit for the future so it’s absolutely about getting the environment right.” Stores generally don’t close during refurbishment unless absolutely necessary. That may be unavoidable due to noise issues in residential areas but work is normally undertaken at night. Successful completion, as Tom points out, is based on the correct approach: “My project team works out a plan with the store manager, determining how we work with contractors and suppliers. There’s a real team approach to come up with a plan that allows trading to continue. The store team will enable contractors to empty areas so they can work on those and then move around.” That type of team working is also apparent in the approach to health and safety that has seen a gradual fall in reported accidents and a high level of

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compliance in annual audits. It starts with the prequalification process for contractors and is maintained through a strong relationship between the Head of Health and Safety and various site managers and contract managers. “We get everybody together before launching any big refit programme,” recounts Tom. “Our team working approach means all suppliers and contractors talk to each other to ensure we’re doing things correctly and not going off in different directions. Health and safety fits within there so everybody is aware of their obligations and our expectations.” SUPPLIER MIX There are regular tenders for individual supply elements such as joinery due to the constant development of new unitary. There is a conscious mixture of large suppliers to handle the high volume equipment and fittings, and smaller suppliers for other work such as surveying stores, trimming bookcases and designing bespoke units.

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES

ALL REFURBISHMENTS ARE CONTROLLED BY A PROJECT MANAGEMENT COMPANY THAT HANDLES PROCUREMENT, PRE-QUALIFICATION OF CONTRACTORS, ONGOING REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE AND COST MANAGEMENT

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All refurbishments are controlled by a project management company that handles procurement, pre-qualification of contractors, ongoing review of performance and cost management. Essential attributes for contractors are a proactive approach, the ability to work with other shop team members and the capacity to make last minute changes. Store refurbishments have a panel of preferred contractors that operate to a schedule of rates when the individual store situation permits. Tom says: “Due to the historic underinvestment in the estate, several things may become apparent either during survey or on-site stages and we aim to harmonise all works into one scheme. When we’re going in to refit a store, we’ll look at everything; for example, dilapidation liabilities or whether the air conditioning uses

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R22 refrigerant gas that needs changing. It’s a full picture because we’re committing to that store, investing in its future and trying to pull the whole thing together.” TAKING CONTROL Ongoing maintenance of stores is a different proposition, with an external company on a three-year tendered contract and reactive repairs and small works handled as a ‘man in a van’ service. That is unlikely to change but the taking of requests from stores, which currently goes through a third party operated help desk, is likely to be brought in-house. “The rationale is to take real control of where we’re spending money and harmonise all maintenance activity with other projects,” remarks Tom. “If we bring the

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES

help desk element back in-house, we can see problems immediately and react to them appropriately. It’s about capturing the information and working out where we direct our resource, time and money.” Although refurbishment is the main focus, there’s also interest in new stores and relocations. It is, however, not an aggressive expansion programme and the target market is wealthy towns that can support relatively small shops. A typical example is Dorking, where the store was the subject of a compulsory purchase order, causing an outcry at the prospect of the town losing its Waterstones and persuading the company to take a temporary unit to stay in the town. Once something suitable became available, it was acquired and fitted out to the standard of the current refurbishment programme. The challenge, as Tom recounts, is finding the right property at a price that will enable a reasonable return while at the same time being aware of the company’s buildings policy: “A nice looking building would go towards us electing it. The look of the property and the status of the building in the town is something we’re mindful of.” Since Waterstones is invariably fitting out existing buildings, it can’t control a property’s environmental characteristics. Nevertheless, it is aware of its respon-

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RETAIL: WATERSTONES sibilities when fitting out a store. Tom says: “LED lighting is starting to look like a reasonable outlay with a good return on investment. We’re also looking at HVAC and where we can get a reduction in energy costs. On a significant part of the portfolio, we use an energy management company to get the store teams really thinking about energy management, how they use energy and the impact that has on the environment and the cost of running the business.” SEEING THE RESULTS Allied to the store programme, Waterstones has moved its main head office from a standard office block into space at its flagship store off Piccadilly Circus. That provided a major challenge in retrofitting the listed building then moving everyone. However, it has been a positive culture change for the teams, now working within a retail establishment and being able to see at first hand the results of its actions. Those results are starting to come though with a good upturn in sales figures for completed stores. The aim, as Tom confirms, is to continue the refurbishment programme and learn as it progresses: “We’re developing the look and feel of the brand so we’ve worked with designers to get to where we are now. We’re constantly refining various parts, particularly understanding how we want to run our cafés and what the offer’s going to be there. The next twelve months is really just carrying on with that programme of investment, building our maintenance support structure and how we’re going to harmonise this with all our other business initiatives.”

“THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS IS REALLY JUST CARRYING ON WITH THAT PROGRAMME OF INVESTMENT, BUILDING OUR MAINTENANCE SUPPORT STRUCTURE AND HOW WE’RE GOING TO HARMONISE THIS WITH ALL OUR OTHER BUSINESS INITIATIVES.”

www.waterstones.com Tel: 020 87423800

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RETAIL: BRITISH COUNCIL FOR SHOPPING CENTRES

SHAPING RETAIL PROPERTY BRITISH RETAIL IS ALIVE AND KICKING AND WILL TURN OUT IN FORCE AT THE ANNUAL BCSC CONFERENCE IN SEPTEMBER

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RETAIL: BRITISH COUNCIL FOR SHOPPING CENTRES

ritish retail is alive and kicking and will turn out in force at the annual BCSC conference at London Olympia on 11 and 12 September 2013. For the first time, BCSC is bringing the revamped, number one event in the retail property calendar to London – minimising travel and accommodation costs for delegates while maximising business networking opportunities. BCSC Showcase has been concentrated into two days, with retailers, landlords and investors descending on the capital in what will be the largest gathering of shopping centre owners and developers in the UK. Despite a recent spate of retail administrations, there is little doubt that the industry’s vital signs remain strong. The Showcase will yet again be a hive of deal-making and networking opportunities, as the biggest decision makers in retail and property gather together. The Showcase will include thought-provoking content; direct access to unrivalled, reputable and knowledgeable expertise by bringing together exclusive, high profile speakers. In recognition of the increasing role leisure and food retail plays in the industry, the exhibition will

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feature a street scene, with a broad range of restaurants and a demonstration kitchen. There will be no fee for retailers, further reducing their costs. The Showcase will also feature a London Hub, purely focused on investment and development opportunities in the Capital. The area will allow delegates to meet away from the main exhibition area, with some of the capital’s main players; fewer seminars and the new ‘one-room’ formula will ensure there is more talking and more action at this year’s conference. Michael Green, Chief Executive, BCSC, commented: “The strength of BCSC has always been its

membership and we’ve gone away and redesigned the conference in order to facilitate the changes the members wanted to see. They wanted a condensed event, with more time and space for deal making which was at the top of our agenda. “I wanted this year’s conference to be a real change in direction, shifting the focus back on to business and ensuring that we get the right people talking. The seminars we have planned reinforce our conference as the retail property industry event of the year.” www.bcsc.org.uk Tel: 0845 270 0775

THE BCSC SHOWCASE WILL IS COMING TO LONDON IN 2013 Wed 11 - Thu 12 Sep, London Olympia This year’s Showcase is something completely new. Vibrant, exciting, different... it’s exactly what you, our delegates, have asked for. Quite simply, there’s no bigger forum in which to do business. This is the uk’s largest businessto-business networking event for the retail and retail property industry. It’s all the right people in the right place at the right time. This is business on a big scale. There’ll be 3,000 top decision-makers to make things happen.

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BRITISH INSTITUTE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BRITISH INSTITUTE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

EXCITING

TIMES Building Design and Construction Magazine speaks to Gareth Tancred the new CEO of BIFM t is an exciting time for the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) as it looks forward to celebrating its twenty-year anniversary with one of its most successful twelve months to date. Established in 1993, the professional body for facilities management was set up to represent and promote the interests of its members within the wider community. In the early 1990s, FM was still in its infancy but BIFM, committed to its goal of nurturing and developing the profession, has grown substantially just as facilities management has matured in stature. The institute delivers industry-leading services and benefits for its 12,000-plus individual and corporate members including providing information and support, qualifications, professional development, training and networking. Now, as the institute nears twenty years in existence, it has appointed the expertise of Gareth Tancred as its CEO. Gareth’s vast experience and knowledge of BIFM and FM will be, as the board sees it, the driving force behind BIFM’s next phase of growth. “Naturally, I was delighted to receive the appointment,” Gareth tells Building Design and Construction magazine. “I have been with BIFM for almost three years and have worked closely with the board throughout that time. Having an acting role as CEO previously I was overjoyed to receive the news that I had the permanent appointment. The backing from

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the board has given me the encouragement and the remit to carry on delivering the strategy.” Chairman Ian Broadbent spoke of how Gareth has already made positive steps to improving the service BIFM provides. He said, “Gareth has proved to be a very competent interim appointment providing stability whilst at the same time introducing new ways of working and setting a foundation for future growth. I look forward to supporting Gareth during my remaining time as chair as we work together to advance our profession.” Gareth believes implementing the board’s strategy in a more efficient and practical way is key to BIFM’s own progression. “I look forward to keeping up the great work and momentum of the institute’s development to ensure we deliver what the sector needs. Driving forward the strategy set out by the board is integral to the success of the institute and to the support and advancement of this fast paced profession.” One of the essential goals in the short term is increasing the pace in which BIFM operates internally; an area Gareth was quick to seize upon during his time as acting CEO. He said, “I’m very keen on making positive changes to the way we work internally so that we can deliver on our commitments and promises. So one of the first things I did here internally was to reinforce some of those changes such as we shouldn’t be as risk averse as we have been in the past, that we have to be more effective in the way we do things internally, we need to be more agile, more

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BRITISH INSTITUTE OF FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

“WE SEE 2012 AS A GOOD YEAR FOR MEMBERSHIP GROWTH” fleet of foot. We need to make our decisions faster and be able to deliver our commitment to our members faster.” But like all organisations, the recession has posed the most significant of challenges. Gareth admits that few envisaged the recession would last as long as this but believes facilities management is in a unique position. “One of the good things for FM’s is their ability to influence the companies that they work for. Whether they are FM providers or organisations where the member is the FM on site, they can help enormously with alleviating the pressures an organisation is posed with during times of global economic uncertainty. Our biggest challenge from BIFM’s perspective is helping our members to appreciate we are here to help and how to deliver better value within their organisation.” MORE CRUCIAL Effectively, BIFM’s role has become even more crucial during this time of economic downturn. And, while its membership remained fairly static during 2010, gains were made in 2011 while the outlook for the current year suggests growth will greatly surpass the previous twelve months. “We see 2012 as a good year for membership growth,” acknowledges, Gareth. “Some of the other things we have been doing more recently involves focusing more on the tools members

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might need, for example, we have just launched an information portal and we are continuing to market online courses which have become very useful for people and organisations where expensive and time-consuming training courses are simply not practical or affordable. “Certainly, over the last six months, we are ensuring we have the relevant services in place; that the right information is available for members in order to help them with the tools and the knowledge they need to help their respective companies.” RIGHT MAN Clearly, Gareth is the right man to bring board strategy to fruition. His experience with BIFM is one thing – before acting CEO he was COO for two years, deputising for the CEO and overseeing the running of the institute as well as changes to the constitution to professionalise the organisation. Previously, he has over twelve years’ experience at board level, ranging from SMEs to large UK, European and international organisations, along with an extensive portfolio as an executive director. He has witnessed the growth of FM firsthand, and while it is still a relatively young profession, his passion to see it flourish and belief in its potential will stand FM and BIFM in good stead. “My key focus is to help FM’s develop their service and the individuals develop their roles as professionals. FM as a profession is still quite

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young so it is about helping FM professionals further their careers through development and encouragement, as well as give them the recognition for their work,” explains Gareth. COMPARISONS He likens FM’s burgeoning industry to that of the IT sector twenty years ago. “You can draw comparisons with the IT industry in that a few years ago IT was very new in organisations. Now we see IT as an integral part of any organisation these days to the point where it is becoming common to see an IT director or a CIO on the board. FM is heading in the same direction. “FM is crucial to the day to day running of an organisation to the point where it is now not unusual to have an FM director in many organisations. We feel we have developed over the last few years the ability to provide the support and services that FM’s need to be able to provide the services they do to the organisation’s they work for. “It is about giving them the information, the knowledge, the resources, as well as qualifications, quality standards, training, and the networking opportunities with other professionals so that they can share challenges and solutions to problems for the ultimate benefit of the industry as a whole.” www.bifm.org.uk

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BPA:feature 2 23/07/2012 11:16 Page 10

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

UNDERSTANDING MEMBERS’ NEEDS We talk to Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation about the challenges of representing property investors

ooking after your members can be challenging but made more difficult if the membership profile is constantly changing. “We represent primarily people involved in the commercial property industry and who invest in buildings,” says British Property Federation Chief Executive Liz Peace. “We’re not on the whole an owner-occupier organisation. Effectively, our members are people who make a return from renting out commercial space in the broadest sense of the word and it’s been getting broader. Once it was retail, offices or industrial. Now, industrial can span a business park, a group of industrial sheds or a big storage and distribution centre. “Retail has expanded into leisure and the leisure industry provides or requires a lot of commercial property space. Office has lots of different forms but we’ve also extended into things like student accommodation. We do have an element of residential but mainly those are assets where the income comes from letting rather than sale. People have spread the envelope so it covers a whole lot more.”

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MEMBERS’ INTERESTS Looking ahead, she can envisage property investment broadening further into infrastructure projects and the like. Irrespective of their type, the BPF exists to protect and enhance the interest of its members, which generally means making sure the government doesn’t introduce legislation that has unforeseen consequences for the industry. Doing that, of course, means having an understanding of what members’ needs are. Consequently, the BPF spends a lot of time talking to government, watching what it’s doing and anticipating members’ reactions and the impact on them. Liz says:

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“Government will consult us on something and we’ll write a paper explaining what it wants to do, what the impact on the industry is likely to be and what changes we ought to lobby for. We run our ideas through a series of committees and ask if members are happy. We have to know what the industry thinks before asking them and occasionally they say we’ve got it wrong but normally we’re right. We understand the membership and what they’re concerned about.” The BPF is only one of many organisations lobbying the government, which often has to make difficult decisions that benefit some groups and disadvantage others. So although the BPF would like always to get the best regulatory, fiscal and statutory settlement for the industry, it has to accept that sometimes the Government chooses a less helpful course of action. The important thing though, is that the government understands the consequences of its actions. GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT The bulk of the BPF’s activity is policy work that involves ongoing engagement with government departments that relate to the industry. Recent projects in this respect have included a focus on the budget measure to introduce 15% stamp duty on residential properties over £2 million bought through corporate structures, which will affect pension fund investments. There’s also a campaign to make Real Estate Investment Trusts more suitable for residential investment and follow-up work to the Portas review of the high street. Allied to the latter is a move to increase flexibility generally, such as allowing change of use for unlettable retail properties and improving the planning system to remove barriers to development. The BPF sometimes decides to run its campaigns through the press, usually when more subtle forms of lobbying have not been effective or simply to obtain a

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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: BRITISH PROPERTY FEDERATION

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higher profile for an issue. A recent example is its ‘Taking the Profit’ campaign that highlighted the problems landlords face when tenants go into administration. “It raises awareness that insolvency and administration involves two parties,” explains Liz. “The press tend to write about the poor retailer but every time a retailer does a pre-pack administration, there are probably half the landlords that were leasing to it losing out. “Those landlords are businesses as well and the fact is the retailer is allowed through this prepack administration to break a contract. The government wants to encourage a rescue culture but this also has its victims. What we’ve been pressing very hard for is that landlords should have a greater say. There should be redress against insolvency practitioners who don’t follow the rules.”

One of the overriding aims of the BPF is to persuade Ministers to put themselves in the position of a development company Chief Executive when making decisions. This is especially true when the government is trying to restart growth and the development industry has a crucial role to play. Liz says: “Constructors and contractors can’t do anything unless there are customers prepared to get things going. My members are the customers who commission constructors and contractors to build something. We’ve been having a long dialogue with government about how you make it easier for the developers, which includes empty property rates relief. You’re not going to do a speculative development if you think it’s going to sit empty for 6-12 months because the empty rates bill will be huge.”

BEST PRACTICE Encouraging best practice among members is always a dilemma for trade associations because they have to be careful not to lecture their members about how to run their businesses. Nevertheless, when arguing with government for legislative changes, success is more likely if the industry is conducting itself properly. Indeed, the government dropped plans for legislation to enforce flexibility in leasing and ban upward-only rent reviews when the BPF persuaded its members to agree to accept sub-letting at below passing rent. Sustainability is a big issue and the danger is that some of the demands will make buildings too expensive. There have been issues to deal with in the Carbon Reduction Commitment and the problems of introducing a commercial version of the Green Deal into properties where there’s an owner and multiple tenants.

ACCEPTABLE PARTNER Liz’s work for the BPF and the industry generally led to the award of a CBE after being put forward by members. She attributes this partly to having spent time making the property industry a more acceptable partner of government. “Getting through to government what my industry contributes to their agenda is very important and means we are listened to far more than we were ten years ago,” she says. “We’re now regarded as a suitable and responsible partner in policy development. The key to successful lobbying is to make yourself indispensable and helpful to the government. Then they will come to you and you can influence them.”

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www.bpf.org.uk Tel: 020 78280111

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BIFM:feature 2 10/12/2012 12:33 Page 8

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BIFM AWARDS 2012

BIFM AWARDS WINNERS

SHOWCASE EXCELLENCE IN FM L ast night over 1,270 guests attended the premier awards evening in the UK facilities management calendar to see the winners crowned for the BIFM Awards in FM excellence for 2012, with headline sponsor Mace. Now in their 11th year, the evening was a great celebration of excellence in FM. Clive Anderson was an outstanding host and raconteur as he oversaw proceedings, and BIFM Chairman Ismena Clout was alongside Clive on stage to announce the winners across 13 categories. Speaking of the evening, Ismena said “Since becoming Chairman in April 2012 this has been the one event I have been most excited about being a part of. It was an absolute delight to be on stage presenting the Awards to our very worthy winners who have displayed some excellent, innovative and inspiring facilities management. The class of 2012 certainly set the standard incredibly

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high and I am so proud to be Chairman of BIFM and be involved in the UK facilities management profession. I would like to thank everyone involved in the Awards – from our entrants, to our judges, to our sponsors, to the BIFM team for helping to make the 2012 Awards one of the best ever.” Oliver Jones, Chairman of the Judges added, “This year the standard of entries was phenomenally high and it was a pleasure to once again lead our many judges throughout the robust judging process. The judges give so much time and dedication assessing entries as they seek out the very best projects which the profession have presented. Year on year we have seen the standard raised – which has further been demonstrated by the BIFM success in the Global FM Awards over the past few years, showing that the UK offers some of the best examples of FM in the world. I now not only look forward to forward to the announcement of the 2012 Global FM Awards at the end of

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the month, in which BIFM have two finalists – KPMG and Serco – and also to the opening of entries to the 2013 BIFM Awards in January 2013.” Entries for the 2013 awards are set to open in January, with the winners to be announced at the glittering ceremony on 14 October. Full details will be available on the BIFM website shortly: www.bifm.org.uk/awards. Full details of all the winners are available at www.bifm.org.uk/winners2012.Details of the all the worthy finalists are available at www.bifm.org.uk/finalists2012.

Entries for the 2013 BIFM Awards will open on 14 January 2013. Full details can be found at www.bifm.org.uk/awards2013

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FACILITIES MANAGEMENT: BIFM AWARDS 2012 Plantronics collecting award: George Coffin (2nd from left) and Hazel Reason (1st from right)

BIFM Chair Ismena Clout welcomes guests

THIS YEARS WINNERS: INNOVATION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE Amey; Pro-active Catering at Braidburn Schools INNOVATION IN PRODUCTS Managed Technology Services Ltd in partnership with the Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Freeway Medical; Paediatric Mobile Workstation INNOVATION IN TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Ambinet, Sodexo; MAPLE IMPACT ON ORGANISATION AND WORKPLACE Plantronics: Plantronics Simply Smarter Working

Wales Millenium Centre: Back row from left to right: David Bonney; Tony Jay; Bob Smith; Dean Gorman; Front row from left to right: Liz Thomas; Charlotte Lythgoe; Serena Grainger Charity Casino, raising money for Breast Cancer Care and The Royal Marsden

EXCELLENCE IN A MAJOR PROJECT PwC with MITIE, Honeywell and ARAMARK; “7 More London” with PwC and their Service Partners IN-HOUSE CLIENT TEAM OF THE YEAR BAE Systems Real Estate Solutions; Delivering Our Customers Perfect Day CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR Davis Langdon, an AECOM Company: FM Support to Marks & Spencer, Merseyside Police and Ministry of Justice SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR MITIE Client Services

Chairman of the BIFM Awards Judges, Oliver Jones

LEARNING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT Interserve; Skills Development at Interserve SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Wales Millennium Centre; Sustainability Exemplar Project JUDGES SPECIAL AWARD G3 Systems Ltd; NATO Medical Treatment Facilities, Afghanistan The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games; LOCOG FM FACILITIES MANAGER OF THE YEAR Wendy Cuthbert, Barclays OVERALL INDUSTRY IMPACT Professor Keith Alexander

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FMTODAY: BRITISH COUNCIL FOR OFFICES

DEFINING

EXCELLENCE I IN OFFICE SPACE The British Council for Offices’ (BCO) mission is to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. It delivers this by providing a forum for the discussion and debate of relevant issues. XL

t’s a challenging time to be taking over as President of the BCO but James Wates, a member since 1993, isn’t concerned. “I think whenever somebody takes on something like this, it’s going to be a challenging time,” he insists. “One has to welcome the challenge, see it as an opportunity to respond and try to position the BCO as an organisation that is thinking about the issues and working on them with the membership.” He is, as Deputy Chairman of Wates Group, the first contractor to take on the role and believes he'll bring a different slant from his working experience. However, he doesn’t envisage any change of emphasis given it’s an organisation that’s driven by the wishes of its members and is unique in its aims. James says: “The BCO is about delivering excellence in commercial office space in terms of design,

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FMTODAY: BRITISH COUNCIL FOR OFFICES

“THE BCO IS ABOUT DELIVERING EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE IN TERMS OF DESIGN, USABILITY AND BUILDING” JAMES WATES PRESIDENT Environmental issues are increasingly high on the agenda and new regulations and legislation shape the way the industry operates. Although the BCO isn’t a lobbying organisation, its inclusive membership means it can offer a very broad opinion and inform the debate. MEMBERS’ NEEDS The role of the BCO is as a forum on issues affecting the office sector and it undertakes research to achieve this, producing its flagship fit-out guide and BCO office specification plus other documents. It also stages various events, such as technical tours and its annual conference and awards ceremony. However, James realises, the members sustain the organisation through their time, commitment and subscriptions, meaning their wishes always come

first. “We’re in touch with the membership to make sure we are constantly attuned to what they want,” he remarks. “We have a pretty good communications and engagement structure.” Looking forward, James has high hopes for his year of office: “I’d like to be able to look back on a fine year where we’ve achieved things, had interesting speakers at events and stimulated the debate. Any organisation that resists change or doesn’t have aspiration to growth will inevitably wither and die, so we always have to be looking forward. We are committed to developing the membership and, as an organisation, are continuing to evolve and change in response to the circumstances we face.” www.bco.org.uk Tel: 020 72830125

usability and building. The great thing about the BCO is no one part of the process dominates; we have members who are occupiers, developers, architects, contractors and furniture suppliers. Everyone has a role to play and that’s why it is so different to other organisations in the building environment. They’re very much about their professional side whereas the BCO is about the product; it’s about defining excellence in office space.” James acknowledges the economy remains very difficult, with the government striving for a growth agenda, and believes the BCO and the construction industry generally can make significant contributions. One of the best ways of achieving growth is through construction activity, which requires finance to be available and customers to take the buildings. Consequently, the whole economy needs to be moving forward so businesses are growing and taking new space.

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Various Retail article in BDC Magazine