Hunt urges retail firms to plan ahead to reduce building costs

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Steve Hunt, managing director of Steven Hunt & Associates has issued a warning to retail businesses – as the cost of installations, refurbishment and rent escalates to an all-time high

Hunt is urging retailers to plan ahead – or face unwanted and unnecessary building costs.

The firm’s most recent success story is the Mowgli restaurant chain – owned by Nisha Katona – who invited the company to help design bespoke electrical solutions for its upcoming Leeds restaurant, which is due to open later this year, followed by the recently launched Water Street restaurant.

Hunt, said:

“There is a big issue in the sector at the moment, with M&E contractors cutting corners to do the cheapest job in the quickest possible time. This, however, turns out to be more expensive in the long run, with the retailer then having to call in other contractors to re-do the job when problems occur. Understandably retailers are usually looking for the cheapest option when launching a new space but this can cause headaches and delays further down the line, preparation is critical.

“This was the case at Mowgli, Nisha is creating a unique eating experience with a lot of attention and care not only given to the amazing food but also in creating a homely and exciting atmosphere. After the previous delays and complications on site due to the contractors, we were delighted to be invited to offer design solutions that will ensure sustainability, keep the project on time and potentially save several thousands of pounds in development. In the majority of cases our costs are much less than the additional costs caused by a lacking of planning or rogue contractors.”

Mowgli was launched in 2014 by Nisha and currently boasts three restaurants in the UK.

Famed for its intricate and bespoke lighting, the Indian street food chain experienced construction complications during the development of the first two branches, Liverpool Bold Street and Manchester.

Following the completion of these two sites, Mowgli employed the services of iLEX Project Management Ltd, whose Senior Project Manager Alistair Carberry then approached Hunt to advise on the mechanical and electrical co-ordination of the planned Leeds branch, and to create bespoke electrical solutions.

Able to prepare and design affordable solutions before the construction started, Hunt was then invited to work on the Water Street branch.

Nisha added:

“Growing Mowgli has been an incredible journey and it is so important for me that each of my restaurants stay true to the brand. This means that I design every detail of Mowgli from the menu right down to the light fittings.”

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