It can be challenging to keep stores in retail parks secure as they have large site footprints that include loading bays, extensive car parking, and are often in out-of-town remote locations.
The primary concern for the owners or property managers of empty stores in retail parks is vandalism, illegal occupation and fly-tipping. Large car parks in retail parks especially act as a magnet for anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity. They are highly likely to be targeted by travellers and squatters.
The main focus with empty stores is to re-let them as soon as possible, therefore owners and property managers want the highest level of security in order to keep their buildings in the best condition.
When DIY chain Homebase announced the closure of 42 of its stores across the UK, prominently placed retail units were left empty in town and city locations.
Homebase asked us to secure their site in Canterbury. The site needed to be secured quickly as it was deemed to be in a high-risk area where criminal damage and arson had been reported. The large car park was a prime target for travellers to settle and potentially use the empty building to fly-tip waste, so concrete blocks were installed around the perimeter of the car park.
Our tailored solution, designed to overcome the concern of maintaining the condition of the exterior, was to construct bespoke wooden frames that were tied into the building to which we secured steel sheets, thereby minimising the damage when compared to securing the sheets directly onto the building.
In addition to external steel security, we provided a wireless video verified alarm inside the store to detect potential break-ins, and guards to regularly patrol the perimeter.
Clearway’s property inspectors attended weekly to check the premises both inside and out for any deterioration of the building due to vandalism or weather damage, and advise the client accordingly. Canterbury Council were delighted with the result, commenting how our “total security” solution was fully implemented in a short time frame.
Securing Toys R Us
When Toys R Us, the world’s biggest toy store chain, collapsed into administration and announced the closure of all its stores, Clearway was called in to secure these sites as quickly as possible.
Many of the buildings required waste removal of tons of fly-tipped waste. Steel screens were fitted to provide a robust and secure exterior to the large windows, and keyless steel security doors were installed to allow estate agents to carry out viewings for potential new tenants.
Finally, concrete blocks were installed around the perimeter of the car parks, essential for preventing trespassers, squatters and other illegal occupation by vehicles. Security access gates were installed in the concrete perimeter to allow access for specific personnel.
Toys R Us commercial insurers were highly complimentary of the quick and high-standard retail security solutions we provided for many of the vacant sites.
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