Retail Case study

A quality and value for money FM solution across every store

Our partnership with the customer allows them to concentrate on retail, not FM, knowing their stores are safe, legal and trading

Case Study
Case Study

As a British high street institution synonymous with quality and value, brand reputation is everything. In 2018, this retailer engaged with the FM market to find a provider capable of:

  • Prioritising their needs
  • Creating a safe and compliant environment for customers and staff
  • Consistently supporting their business-critical assets
  • Delivering best value in a transparent way
  • Innovation and flexibility in an evolving sector

Ultimately, they were looking for a service provider who understood their core business and would positively impact customer experience.


Hard facilities management incorporating:



  • Safe and legal stores
  • Number one priority status
  • Alignment with brand reputation
  • Flexible to changing customer requirements
  • Greater cost certainty and reduced expenditure


Number 1 priority status, everyday

By employing a dedicated contract team, the retailer is always our number one priority. By maximising colleague productivity through upskilling, this commitment is also cost effective. During peak periods the team structure is adjusted with technicians basing themselves at key locations, supplying instant response to maximise store revenue.

Customer-focused training ensures all colleagues understand their role in the retailer’s success. Using the retailer’s exact assets, workshops at our Haydock City & Guilds Accredited training centre guarantee that our technicians can resolve complex issues, increasing the first fix rate.


Safety and compliance in an ageing estate

Due to the age of the estate, asbestos is a common problem. We manage an asbestos register, identifying locations within every affected ‘red’ store. Our five-hour online course developed for the retailer emphases the responsibilities of each colleague working in a ‘red‘ store. Through safety measures and protections, we support the retailer in safeguarding their staff and customers, and there have been zero incidents relating to asbestos on the contract.



Refrigeration experts

With foodhalls in many stores, maintenance of refrigeration assets is a critical part of the contract. City are an industry leader in innovative refrigeration systems, monitoring and maintenance. Our Technical Bureau remotely monitors all 46,000 refrigeration assets 24/7, ensuring they operate at optimum capacity reducing energy consumption and minimising asset failure. Estate wide parameters alert the Bureau to issues and through Internet of Things connectivity 89% of these alarms are fixed remotely, increasing technician productivity onsite.

All technicians work on tablets with asset maintenance recorded in real time. This level of asset information has created accurate lifecycle costing for refrigeration, supporting the retailer in their financial planning and budgets. This scope will soon be extended across all assets. While other FM providers charge extra for this level of detail, it’s business as usual for City.

For those critical assets where sub-contractors are used, such as lifts and escalators, our in-house specialist has equipped the technicians to diagnose common faults and triage. This training and support has reduced subcontractor call outs and fees for the retailer.


Best value is ‘business as usual’

As the estate and contract develops, the retailer and City are continuously identifying projects to enhance the customer experience. In all situations, our response is to analyse if this is possible within the existing team. Area maintenance technician roles have been developed, enabling more tasks to be self-delivered including painting, tiling and plastering. For each technician we have introduced, the retailer has realised an approximate saving of £160,000 and gained greater cost certainty.

Our Technical Bureau remotely monitors all 46,000 refrigeration assets 24/7 ensuring they operate at optimum capacity reducing energy consumption and minimising asset failure.

Sustainable and award-winning innovation

The high street retail market is continuously evolving and City recognise our role is to mirror this evolution with innovative and sustainable FM solutions. Our robust process for idea capture, testing, and evaluation has enabled the retailer to achieve financial and energy savings. Recent innovative projects include:


Collaborating with the retailer’s energy bureau, we continuously monitor the energy consumption and efficiency of the contract. Global tools enable remote monitoring, adjustment and triage by the technical bureau, enhancing asset performance while reducing energy consumption. In addition to these new technologies, our smart refrigeration connectivity is enabling maintenance scheduling by condition, improving efficiency and elongating asset life. Frequency response automated load shedding, switching refrigeration to fans at peak energy times, is also reducing energy charges. Asset connectivity enables remote monitoring, guaranteeing no stock is spoiled and improving store profitability.


Proactively flexible

The retailer’s requirements change throughout the year and we operate flexibly to meet them. During summer there is an increased refrigeration load and in winter there is greater HVAC load. We have cross-trained technicians to support their colleagues at peak times, delivering a consistent and cost-effective service throughout the year for the retailer.

Another peak period is the golden quarter between October and December. To enable faster response to reactive tasks affecting the customer's revenue, our maintenance schedule is designed to minimise planned tasks, while maintaining compliance. Technicians are dedicated to key stores in the estate, offering instant response.

As a food retailer, the customer continued trading throughout COVID, although some store areas were closed off. When restrictions were lifted, City managed a £6million budget to ensure all stores and cafes were 100% operational to maximise store revenue and maintain brand reputation.


Continuously ‘striving to improve’

Our close and transparent relationship with the retailer has enabled City to deliver a contract beyond compliance. Collaboratively we ‘strive to improve’ and the retailer continues to reap the rewards of FM best practice.


  • 99%+ legal compliance
  • ‘Ring fenced’ delivery team
  • Unique customer-specific training; we're experts in the retailer’s assets
  • Asset connectivity delivering savings and enabling informed planning
  • Innovative asset retrofitting delivering energy and financial savings

Let's work towards a bespoke solution to your FM needs

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