Blog Post #7:

Rolling Out Joos at Hammerson’s Shopping Centre Portfolio 

In Spring 2021, Team Joos were able to roll out our charging solution across the Hammeron’s entire UK portfolio of shopping centres

In early 2021, Team Joos completed the rollout of our Joos Box Max charging units across Hammerson’s portfolio of UK shopping centres. This represents a huge step in our company’s growth, demonstrating a shift in the attitude of established PLCs towards ‘on the move’ charging. Below Dominic Comley, our Head of Network, shares his experiences of installing Joos at some of the UKs most popular shopping centres.

Upon the transition from ChargeBolt to Joos, the team were thrilled to agree a nationwide rollout with Hammerson across their UK Shopping Centre portfolio. After seeing the numerous benefits that ‘on the move’ charging has brought to the two trial centres – Brent Cross, London and Cabot Circus, Bristol – Hammerson HQ decided that our brand-new solution was to be introduced across the entire portfolio to ensure that all Hammerson shoppers did not have to use the traditional ‘plug & wait’ solution (charging lockers) that has been in place for the past several years.

Having ‘soft-launched’ the Joos network in December 2020 – during the few weeks respite we received before the 3rdnational lockdown – it was a massive blow to the Network team to digest the severity of the new UK variant and the subsequent rising cases in all areas of the UK. Although we have since readjusted our strategy to now look forward to rolling out the wider network across all of our hospitality venues upon their reopening, the team quickly realised this was the perfect opportunity to accelerate the rollout with Hammerson to ensure our new Covid-safe solution would be in place upon the centre’s reopening.

The UK Hammerson portfolio is made up of 10 Shopping Centres, spanning across the entirety of the UK. Stretching all the way from Southampton up to snowy Aberdeen – we travelled over 3000 miles and faced nearly all of the weather conditions the UK has to offer. Undoubtably, the journey to Scotland had the most dramatic weather, having experienced some of the most hazardous driving conditions I’ve ever driven in. Driving a heavily loaded van across water-soaked roads & with limited visibility took intense concentration, all the while with the constant thought in the back of my mind that Josh and Hannz could never forgive me if I crash!

Along the way, we paid a visit to Meadow Waste, a recycling centre in Hull that prides itself on being able to recycle pretty much anything. Our sustainability officer, Saffron, had reached out to the company before the trip to ensure that all of the foam and cardboard packaging from our previous shipments were to be recycled. Mapping this journey into our route killed two birds with one stone and also limited our carbon footprint. After dropping off the packaging, we continued on our journey up to a very cold Scotland. I’m really not exaggerating when I say it began to rain almost immediately as soon as we crossed the border!

The installation process did not differ hugely from centre to centre. Brent Cross and Cabot Circus, Bristol, hosted the ChargeBolt trial, so required a simple swap over. While the remaining eight centres had never experienced a charge on the move service before, so was an even simpler setup from scratch. All of the locations had been pre-agreed during either an in-person or virtual site survey, so all we had to do was simply follow the premade installation packs to guide us through the process. After confirming that the location had been successfully registered to the app, we packed up our installation equipment and headed on to the next centre.

Despite city centres resembling lockdown ghost towns, it is always an enjoyable experience to be given the opportunity to explore the character and quirks of the places we visit. Although I’m not supposed to have a favourite, I’d have to say that Victoria Leeds is probably the most beautiful centre in the portfolio, having combined the ancient yet modernised Victoria Quarter with the newly built Victoria Gate. Instantly, we were captivated by the unique historical features and felt honoured to be able to place Joos in such a remarkable building.

After a month of daytime installs, long drives, some night-time installs, and some even longer drives, we returned back to Joos HQ to continue the preparation for the rollout of both the Joos Box Mini’s, and the next batch of shopping centres that have signed up to Joos. Having now visited nearly every major UK city/town since the beginning of my time at Joos, I’m confident that the team will have a great time rolling out Joos in more locations across these towns & cities. Ticking off the Hammerson UK portfolio is only the beginning!

12 January 2020