In a defiant stance against a struggling high street, discount retailer The Works is expanding its store portfolio and showing impressive year on year growth. Founded in 1981, the UK-based brand sells an extensive range of books, art and craft materials, gifts, toys and stationery from over 500 locations across the UK and Ireland. Working with Sigma, The Works has been able to open an average 26 stores each year over the last five years, all delivered on time, within budget and to increasingly tight timescales.
Fast track store opening programme
As part of its expansion, The Works has an ambition to open a significant number of new stores in city centres, shopping malls and retail parks throughout the UK and Ireland. However, the retailer has struggled to find suitable sites in the locations required, resulting in the need to look at creative solutions to deliver a bricks and mortar store in challenging environments.
In addition, where The Works committed to a site opening, this had to be completed in a fast-track manner to ensure it was compliant against the quarterly capital expenditure budget.
Delivering a full design & build proposal
With extensive experience of delivering to a quick turnaround and in less than perfect site conditions, Sigma pulled together a dedicated project team to support its client. This included project managers and multi-skilled operatives as well as a client perspective to ensure that solutions were both workable and in line with The Works’ future strategy.
Representatives from the Sigma team attended pre-acquisition surveys with the client’s own project team so that they could advise on any construction issues and the opportunities available, having seem the site first hand. Following this, budget capital expenditure proposals would be turned around within just a week on pre-acquisition surveys so that the client could build a more accurate proposal pre-lease discussion.
Following approval to proceed, the Sigma team offered a full design and build proposal thanks to their skilled inhouse design team, meaning the client could quickly see complete design proposals for either a shell fit-out or complete new build.
Sigma a key partner to support ambitious growth plans
With over 130 new store openings under its belt, Sigma has become a key partner to The Works, delivering projects and schemes up to a value of £100,000. This includes sites in the high street and retail parks as well as outlet and shopping malls. With the benefit of Sigma’s expertise, over 70% of pre-acquisition surveys go on to become new stores, showing how their knowledge and experience is directly influencing the properly portfolio of the retailer.
With the knowledge that Sigma can support it to open at least its forecasted number of stores each year, The Works has appointed Sigma as preferred contractor for new-build retail park stores and regularly uses the full design and build services to deliver its new openings.
The retailer remains confident it will continue to grow and expand its bricks and mortar store portfolio and as a strategic partner to the brand, Sigma is on hand to provide insightful industry expertise and decades of commercial transformation experience to help The Works maintain its current expansion rates.
"Sigma have been a major partner in our extraordinary growth; over the last few years, they have supported our rapid expansion plans and aligned themselves to our demanding processes and procedures"
Mark Fryer - Property Manager - The Works
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