A NORTH-East company has secured a major contract to look after 173 John Lewis and Waitrose stores across the country.

Gateshead-based Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd (CMS) could not reveal the exact value of the deal with John Lewis Partnership, due to commercial sensitivity, but confirmed it is worth many thousands of pounds a year to the family-run firm.

The contract to provide planned preventative maintenance comes at an ideal time for CMS – as some of its major clients within the hospitality sector are again being hit by the second lockdown across England.

The deal was secured through principal contractor CBRE, one of the largest outsourcing service providers for integrated facilities management.

CMS, which installs, maintains, and repairs business critical systems throughout the UK, including heating, hot water, and electricals, will also provide its 24-hour emergency repair service to John Lewis Partnership.

Nic Smith co-founder and managing director described the contract as a “significant and prestigious win” that will help secure jobs.

He said: “We have worked throughout this pandemic across a range of sectors – including care homes and private hospitals – ensuring they have remained operational.

“We are again starting to see work in certain sectors dry up, particularly in hospitality, which is facing further challenges, so this contract will help bridge what we hope is a temporary gap.”

He said it was good to work with such recognisable brands, with Waitrose recently awarded ‘Supermarket of the Year’ title by consumer group Which? and set to invest £1 billion over the next five years in both its online business and stores.

Mr Smith added: “Both John Lewis and Waitrose are successful and instantly recognisable brands in the retail and grocery world, and we are extremely pleased to have been selected by CBRE to deliver our facilities management and maintenance services. This contract win underlines the growing reputation of CMS as a reliable partner for nationwide business.”

The firm, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, has an extensive client list that includes Four Seasons Health Care, Nuffield Gyms and Hospitals and Travelodge.