Monaghans – building success in the retail sector

Monaghans, a national building consultancy with head offices in Sheffield, is playing a key role in the continued expansion of one of the UK’s best-known and successful retailers.

Monaghans were Project Managers for recently completed new format John Lewis stores in Exeter, Devon and in Ashford, Kent. In addition, the company has been engaged to carry out a similar role for planned John Lewis department stores at Birmingham, Leeds and Westfield London and have on-going schemes in York and at Heathrow’s new Terminal 2.

It’s a further thumbs-up for the fast-growing reputation of Monaghans in the retail sector where the organisation has seen a significant boost in demand in the last 12 months for its services both in the UK and abroad, delivering successful programmes for the likes of Harrods, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Primark and TK Maxx.

“Our expertise means we are successfully delivering projects right across the retail spectrum from established brands to new embryonic retailers,” said Craig Hibbert, Group Managing Director for Monaghans.

At Exeter, John Lewis engaged Monaghans as project managers on a scheme to deliver a new store format with new architectural, shop fit and catering concepts. The focus was to offer the full John Lewis range but in a smaller than usual footprint.

A collaborative way of working was agreed with the developer Land Securities to significantly overlap shell and fit-out works to deliver the store opening approximately six months earlier than a traditional developers shell fit-out would have achieved.

Simon Turner, Director for Monaghans, said “This new format allowed John Lewis to reach customers in areas where a traditional department store would not be feasible.”

It is proving a big success. The store recently won the award for ‘Best Large Format Store of the Year’ and was highly commended in the ‘Best Department Store of the Year’ category at the Retail Week Interiors Awards 2013; won Best Store Design at the Drapers Awards 2013 and Best Refurbishment and/or Extension over £5m at the BCSC Gold Awards.

At Ashford, Monaghans’ project managers worked on a two storey, 40,000sqft, ‘at home’ store where customers can browse a wide range of furniture, furnishing accessories, electrical and home technology supplemented by in store computer terminals for viewing the wider catalogue and the free John Lewis Click and Collect service.

There is also a customer café, and additional services include the John Lewis Gift List and Home Design Services.

Tony Jacob, Head of Construction, Environment and Engineering for John Lewis, said: “The Ashford project was delivered to an extremely aggressive programme – it is testament to the Monaghans team to have led the construction and fit out supply chain so effectively to enable John Lewis and their customers local to Ashford to benefit from the critical festive trading period.”

John Lewis has said it ‘outperformed’ the market in the run-up to Christmas, with like-for-like sales rising by 6.9 per cent to £734m.

Tan Khan, Regional Director for Monaghans based in Quayside House, Sheffield, said “This is an exciting period for Monaghans and we are well positioned for further growth in the retail, residential and commercial sectors in the New Year as the recovery in the economy starts to push on.”