PEC Wins First Overseas Contract With Hygena In France

Bradford-based PEC Building & Shopfitting is exporting local talent to mainland Europe after winning its first overseas contract: a £2m deal with Hygena to fit kitchens in 40 French showrooms.

Hygena, now one of France’s best known kitchen names, is just one of 20 brands belonging to Europe’s biggest kitchen group Nobia, which develops, manufactures and sells kitchens through a network of nearly 700 stores in eight countries.

Earlier this year the Nobia board decided to invest in a full store refurbishment programme across Hygena’s 139-strong network in France, with an ambitious timescale of 73 stores being completed in the three months before Christmas. This will give Hygena an excellent platform leading into the highly competitive January sale period. The remaining stores, which are mainly in shopping malls and require additional planning permissions, will be refurbished early in 2012.

PEC was put forward for the Hygena contract as a result of its working relationship with Nobia’s UK brand Magnet, which has an on-going refurbishment programme. PEC first worked for Magnet in 2000, refurbishing the Magnet HQ, then in Keighley, to an excellent standard and subsequently becoming a principle contractor for new and refurbished stores.

Group store design and operations manager at Magnet, Dennis Shiels has been liaising with his French counterparts at Hygena with advice on processes developed for the UK programme.

He said: “When Dominique Bailliez, Hygena development director, asked for additional experienced contractors to install the kitchen displays, PEC, respected for their professionalism and proven quality of work, were put forward and have been rewarded with over 50 per cent of the initial Hygena kitchen refurbishments.”

PEC managing director Balbir Panesar and his project manager Johnny Bubbra have visited France a number of times and will be involved with the project delivery.

“This has been a great boost to our business, reinforcing our reputation as one of the UK’s leading building and shopfitting businesses, and also in terms of our own growth. We have created 60 new jobs to ensure we continue to deliver the very best service for our existing and new clients,” said Balbir Panesar.

“This is a prime example of how customer testimonials can have a positive impact on your business, and why customer service is at the heart of everything we do. We are immensely grateful to Magnet for their endorsement which undoubtedly brought us to the attention of Nobia, and we look forward to winning more work overseas with other companies in the group,” he added.

PEC’s work at Magnet’s UK retail and trade stores network comprises demolition of entire existing internal areas and reconstruction to new contemporary design including new floor coverings, partition walling, suspended ceiling, heating and cooling systems, electrical installations, fire alarms, emergency lighting, bespoke joinery manufacturing, fitting of kitchen displays, decoration and general remedial works to the structure.