Case study title

Improving bandwidth to provide high-speed and reliable connectivity in store

Client Name

The Works



The Overview

With over 25 million customers per year and a continually changing range of over 40,000 products, The Works is a popular retailer specialising in books, toys, stationary and crafts at discount prices. They are growing significantly, owning 310 UK stores selling a million products every week.

With the relaunch of their ecommerce website in 2012, The Works product portfolio is now available 24X7 with regular updates across their own branded products and other big brand names. In 2014 alone the company served more than 25 million customers, supporting their store portfolio though their centralised Head Office in Sutton Coldfield. Furthermore, the company have strong international relations, importing more than 1,500 containers from overseas factories every year.

Whilst The Works continues to expand across the UK, they still maintain their long-standing ethos of great customer service and pride themselves as a family friendly discount alternative to full price retailers. Their ‘Together Reward’ scheme complements these principles, rewarding customers every time they shop with The Works in stores.


  • Reliable Disaster Recovery solution
  • Robust SLAs
  • Premium care for the top 40 stores
  • Streamlined processes
  • High speed internet connectivity

The Challenge

With an impressive turnover of £117 million, The Works rapid growth and development is in line with their ambition to reach a turnover of £200 million by 2017.

The Works already have a long-standing relationship with GCI who have provided their WAN connectivity for over eight years, however, the entire WAN estate needed a refresh in order to support increasing business requirements.

The basic DSL internet connectivity across all sites needed to be upgraded and there was a requirement for a back-up communications solution in the event of a prolonged outage at a store.

This is important as connectivity issues in the retail sector often result in trade losses particularly when taking payment and supporting basic business processes such as replenishment.

Furthermore, recognising increasing consumer demands, The Works were also looking to increase their SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) to a premium level for even greater support.

The Solution

To satisfy the demand for increasing availability of the network, GCI upgraded The Works top 40 stores with premium care. The bandwidth was increased to provide high-speed and reliable connectivity in stores, with service protected by the provision of a guaranteed 24 hour SLA. With this agreement The Works could be confident that in the rare occurrence of any issues arising, services could be back up and running extremely quickly. Furthermore, all of The Works PSTN lines were migrated onto the GCI network, resulting in an enhanced and convenient managed service under one trust-worthy provider. This in turn allowed The Works to re-invest time elsewhere into their expanding business.

For a reliable business continuity solution, GCI also provided The Works with 3G routers which have a swift configuration and deployment time of 24 hours. Furthermore, another 10 routers were provisioned to GCI’s Wakefield office ready for rapid dispatch should The Works need them. By utilising GCI’s 3G services, The Works would benefit from convenient pre-configured3G routing hardware, which is proactively monitored for availability 24x7x365 adding to The Works managed services with GCI.

By implementing these changes GCI have streamlined and standardised the service availability and internal processes across the top 40 stores. The Works were also provided with frequent Marketing updates and high level engagement with the Operations team during busy periods. This additional support proved invaluable during peak periods such as Christmas, where the retail sector experiences consistently high demand both online and in-store.

Whilst still working together in partnership, GCI look forward to continuing to develop the working relationship and providing further services to such a loyal customer. The Works plan to potentially introduce GCI Cloud solutions into their infrastructure and place half a rack of data in GCI’s secure and resilient IS027001 data centres in future.

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