The retail sector is having a torrid time of it at the moment. Game is the latest big name to go to the wall since the recession took hold, joining the ranks of Woolworths, Zavvi and Habitat to name just a few. The UK’s dire economic woes have also seen those retailers that have survived make savage cuts to the number of stores they operate.
Yet, there are plans to revive the ailing High Street. The government has given the go-ahead to Mary Portas’ review of the sector, and it is hoped a series of measures will breathe new life into local shopping centres. And there are bright spots away from the High Street. Malls such as the £1.45 billion Westfield Stratford City continue to open, the rise and rise of internet shopping is a growth area for construction and the major supermarket chains are all expanding, with convenience stores a particular focus.
With soaring fuel prices and the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, there has never been a greater focus on energy efficiency in the retail sector. Many have set themselves challenging targets to reduce their carbon footprint, and who is better placed than the building-services profession to advise them on how to achieve their goals?
Our Round Table (see link below) shows how the likes of Waitrose are looking to rethink their M&E services, approaching the energy issue holistically to reduce carbon. They are looking for innovative suppliers. Are you one of them?
Special Projects Editor