Thames hopes Gym Group will turn on growth tap in Scotland
Gym Group switched its four Scottish sites from Scottish Water’s Business Stream to Thames in March.
However, Thames admits that despite luring the company to its services it faces a huge challenge making significant inroads into a market dominated by Business Stream, the commercial arm of Scottish Water, which supplies the vast majority of the customer base. Business Stream would not give a figure for its current market share which until recently was around 95% but is believed to have fallen.
Since 2008, when the retail market was opened to competition in Scotland, around 130,000 non-household customers in Scotland have been able to choose their supplier, making it the first water market of its kind in the world. England will see a similar competitive water retail market opening in 2017.
Thames Water Commercial Services is among the businesses trying to win business in Scotland from the established network under a de-regulated market. Other water companies, including Severn Trent, United Utilities and Wessex Water are among those who have won or tendered for business in Scotland. The Gym Club’s four sites now take their water services from Thames.
But Thames knows it is a tough task. A number of competitor firms have fallen by the wayside.
Alan Munro, who heads the TWCS team in Scotland said: “Scotland is the first country in the world to deregulate its water market. Any business here can switch provider, yet, due to a lack of awareness, a high percentage of businesses have still to switch supplier.”
Andrew Mathews, Finance Director of The Gym Group said: “We have been impressed by the services on offer with Thames and look forward to benefitting from the prospective cost and consumption savings.”