26 November 2015 | James Richards
Intu Properties was the proud recipient of the 'Highly Commended' award in the Brand Impact category at the BIFM Awards this year.
When Capital Shopping Centres renamed itself intu properties in 2013, a major rebranding exercise was undertaken. The company had existed under various guises for around 30 years - the original company was set up by businessman and philanthropist Donald Gordon.
Today, intu is one of the largest shopping centre manager and developers in the nation, part-owning 18 centres across the UK. The portfolio now includes 21 million square feet of prime retail space.
Responding to changes in shopping habits, intu moved to integrate its off and online shopping experiences, creating the intu brand in the process and uniting its separate retail centres under one name.
In doing so, the company created intu Retail Services to take greater control of FM provision across its property portfolio. In practice, this meant bringing all its facilities staff at each centre under one organisational umbrella, uniting outsourcing providers for the first time with a strong, unified brand and a clear set of objectives.
Intu Retail Services is a joint venture with Bilfinger Europa, lending the organisation the cultural look and feel of an in-house operation, combined with the expertise and support of an established retail FM provider.
The rebrand saw the creation of the 'World-Class Service' workforce-training programme and improvements to shopping centres including the provision of free Wi-Fi.
This initiative represented a significant cultural change and a different way of interacting with customers. The programme embraced all the staff members' different personalities and encouraged them to chat and be cheerful with customers.