Nationwide Building Society

In 2017, Nationwide Building Society committed to transforming its brand on the high street, creating spaces that are meaningful to its members and better adapted to their changing needs. With over 600 branches across the length and breadth of the UK, the scale of the project represented a significant challenge.

©Redhouse Photography

We approached the delivery of the Branch Transformation Programme with the same values we’ve used to establish the world’s biggest Building Society over the last 130 years. This included putting our members first, committing to quality and continuous improvement, driving efficiencies, rewarding innovation and communicating well. We believe that we’re a learning organisation and by reflecting this approach in the way that we’ve engaged our supply chain to deliver this Programme it makes us a strong contender for Client of the Year.


The engagement with our supply chain stretches back to the design phase of this programme. We spent over two years testing out various designs. We embraced the loyalty of the suppliers involved at that early stage and established a Supplier Alliance to work together to deliver our strategy based on framework contracts. This approach was adopted to counter the, at times, fragmented nature of the construction industry and the critical role that communications plays between these members in the supply chain in delivering a successful client outcome.


To date, we have completed 171 projects (28% of the programme) which benefits 4.4million members. All branches have been completed on-time and to the required standard. We’ve also completed a further 336 branch frontages, updating our brand on the high street, with the internal works following over the lifetime of the programme. We’ve minimised the number of days our branches are closed when being transformed which is better for our members.

We believe we’ve created a model that could be replicated or learned from across the wider retail sector and we would like to share our experience. To deliver the desired outcome for clients and ultimately for customers it requires the delivery team to work as a collective and to fully collaborate with each other.
Leadership has been critical to our success. From the executive group that set the vision to the senior commitment from the Alliance on delivery and behaviours, all the way through to the operational leaders who delivered workshops on the way we work. We’ve created collaborative cultures, building long-term relationships, and have an agile supply chain that has been able to deliver at a local, regional and national level as needed. Our suppliers share knowledge and freely raise challenges and issues that they have faced, allowing continuous improvement and innovation to flourish. This is delivering the best possible outcome for us and our members as we build branches that are fit for the future.

‘The collaboration between the contractors is industry leading in that projects can now be swapped freely between companies to optimise workload and resources’

(John Cartwright, Wates)

Key achievements

  • Breaking the mould for fit outs in the Retail industry
  • Embracing the benefits of collaborative working founded on long-term trust-based relationships facilitated by clear lines of communications.
  • Leadership by establishing a common vision based on its beliefs that people can achieve more together than they can on their own.