Syncros recently helped the Lewisham Shopping Centre refurbish their fixed entrance barrier matting

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Syncros works closely with customers to accommodate budgets without compromising on mat quality or service

Budgets are tighter than ever. Every penny must be well spent and justified. However, that doesn’t mean that Shopping Centre Managers can’t demand the highest quality at the right price. Suppliers that value your business will fit their products and service around you and your finances.

This was something that the management team at Lewisham Shopping Centre discovered during the recent refurbishment of its fixed entrance barrier matting. Working closely with Syncros, the shopping centre was able to keep within flooring budgets without compromising on quality, functionality or service.

Syncros doesn’t just fit mats. As one of the UK’s leading suppliers and installers of entrance matting, it also fits all of the required criteria, creating cost effective solutions within budgets and putting smiles on the faces of staff and visitors alike. Key to this customer satisfaction is the use of premium products, such as the Milliken range of matting.

“We had previously used Milliken Forma matting and knew that it performed well in entrance areas”, says Lewisham Shopping Centre’s Operations Manager, Tony Rose. “With 175,000 visitors entering the complex weekly and doors open for up to 11 hours every day, we need to be able to keep floors clean at all times and free from any slip hazards such as dirt and moisture. However, trying to fit our Health and Safety obligations into tight budgets was proving a challenge and with costs looking prohibitive we sought out a supplier who could advise on workable alternatives.”

Tony and the rest of the team at Lewisham Shopping Centre needn’t have worried about compromising Health and Safety for the sake of funding. Syncros was able to present several affordable options to meet the required flooring standards whilst being sympathetic to the complex’s design and function.

UK shopping centre footfall in September 2012 fell 2.3% on last year’s figures (Experian Footfall Index 1/10/12), increasing the pressure for all retail outlets to create a pleasant environment that will attract customers. Located in the heart of the Town Centre, Lewisham Shopping Centre is conveniently situated and successfully competes with outlets in the surrounding area. Not only has the shopping centre got the job of enticing shoppers through the doors of its 70 or so stores, it also acts as a base for community projects, hosting many events through the year to help strengthen and build local pride. With these many roles, the centre has to offer a venue where people feel comfortable to spend their money as well as bring their families to visit special attractions, such as Father Christmas’ Toy Factory and the recent Black History exhibitions. Clean floors, without slip or trip hazards, play a part in ensuring a safe and enjoyable visit.

The scale of the job, which involved four entrances, nine car park mat wells and an exterior fitted mat, would have meant substantial costs and severe disruption to Lewisham Shopping Centre, had the refurbishments been undertaken simultaneously. Taking into account budget constraints and peak trading times such as Easter and the Jubilee Celebrations, Syncros was able to work out an acceptable and affordable installation program occurring in three phases in March, June and July, thereby spreading the cost and avoiding interference with the day-to-day running of the complex.

“Following advice from Syncros, we decided on the more cost effective, and equally serviceable, option of alternating the Milliken Forma with Prior matting tiles at the East Mall entrance,” says Tony. “This enabled us to combine moisture capture with dirt scraping properties and proved more affordable than completely refitting the whole area with Milliken Forma.” With such a flexible system, this was entirely possible with no extra installation charges. The resulting pattern in the matting was also a good aesthetic fit with the general décor of the shopping centre, providing a pleasant first impression as shoppers entered the complex.

Syncros applied the same Milliken Prior/Forma specification to nine car park mat wells. Although all Milliken products are hardwearing, in the rare instance that a small area of the matting may be damaged, single Milliken tiles can be easily replaced at minimal cost.

In the second phase of the refurbishment, existing mat wells needed to be extended to provide greater surface area for more effective foot borne dirt removal. “Although the barrier matting area needed increasing, we were concerned that excavation to extend the mat wells would have proven too costly,” explains Tony. “In this instance, Syncros was able to provide us with surface mounted Milliken Forma matting at a fraction of the price of new wells. The result is excellent with the new tiles matching those already in-situ, installed at an angle to suit the building layout.” For this more economical solution, graduated ramps were placed at the edge of the matting to ensure safety underfoot, without risk of tripping.

Lastly, Lewisham Shopping Centre asked Syncros to take a look at an external matt well which had been fitted with ribbed rubber. “Not only was the ribbed rubber in the exterior mat well looking tired”, says Tony, “but it was quite ineffectual. It was neither removing dirt nor retaining moisture from shoppers’ feet. Syncros pointed us in the direction of Tergo, the all-weather matting solution from Milliken which, until now, has served its purpose in minimising foot borne grime entering the shopping centre. The design also nicely complements the interior matting and really makes a difference to the appearance of the building’s approach.”

As the winter sets in and Lewisham Shopping Centre readies itself for a barrage of Christmas shoppers and New Year sales goers, the new barrier matting will be put to the test as it copes with snow, slush and grit. As shoppers join the queues at the tills, the team at Syncros is quietly confident that Lewisham Shopping Centre’s managers will be joining the list of satisfied customers in over 100 other shopping centres throughout the UK. And all without he hefty bill they had been expecting!

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Kerry Clewer
Syncros
029 2080 9248
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