Cotton Traders

Case Study


Founded in 1987 by former England national rugby union team captains, Cotton Traders are one of the leading British clothing companies specialising in rugby apparel and leisurewear. They operate in over 125 retail stores nationwide in various retail sectors and now employ over 1000 staff. They have expanded rapidly over the years and in 2012 they purchased their fourth office building.

The Brief

Sudlows were commissioned, as Principal Contractor, to complete a full electrical and office fit out for Cotton Traders newly leased office. Their new office, situated directly next to their other buildings, required essential upgrades and a completely new interior skeleton. As well as requiring a new comms room and fibre and electrical installations, Sudlows were able to fit out the entire office, including a new kitchen, training rooms and manager’s offices. Although the usual timeframe for this scale of job would be around 7-8 weeks, Sudlows were able to complete the job in just 5 weeks, in order to fit in with Cotton Traders commercial plans.

The Project

For the first phase of the project, Sudlows had to strip out the existing office services, such as power outlets, in order to accommodate the new layout. As new walls and spaces were being built within the existing structure, it was essential to plan this phase perfectly. All radiators were also successfully removed and replaced in their new locations so works could begin on the new structures.

As the new walls were going up, all first fix mechanical pipework was installed, including the installation of the new Air Conditioning system. Once this was complete all first fix electrical works were put in, including all new and replacement power outlets and lighting. LED lighting was used throughout the entire office, as Cotton Traders requested the most energy efficient and cost effective lighting solution.

A new comms room was also built at to service the new building. Whilst these works were being undertaken within the building, civil works were underway outside. A service trench was dug all the way from the existing Head Office building to the new office so fibre cabling could be installed, connecting the two buildings together via the new comms room.

Additional to this, Sudlows noted that the two legacy UPS systems in place were ageing and not energy efficient. With this in mind, Sudlows completely removed the existing UPS systems, and installed a new one to service the comms room and every single employee’s work station. Not only was this new system highly resilient, but much more energy and cost efficient.

More civil works were carried out including the relocation of the existing generator. This was a challenging procedure as the generator itself was located in a very confined space with very minimal access. To overcome this issue Sudlows brought in specialist help to crane the generator out of its narrow space and into its new location next to the new office.

Once all the civil works, new partitions, walls and electrical works were completed, Sudlows moved in all the office furniture, including work stations and computers. All the new equipment was then fully connected by the Sudlows team to ensure Cotton Traders would be ready to move in straight away.

The Conclusion

As the project finished at 10pm on a Friday evening, Cotton Traders staff moved in just as the Sudlows team left. As a 24/7 operational business, it was highly important the staff were able to move in as soon as possible and so Sudlows kept to the tight deadline that was set. The full office was successfully connected and ran smoothly, with new resilient systems put in place by the Sudlows team.


Nick Turner, Head of IT for Cotton Traders commented that;
“Sudlows instantly impressed myself and the rest of the project delivery team here at Cotton traders with their ability to co-ordinate multiple infrastructure projects within a very short timetable and all completed to an extremely high standard”.

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