A Walmart shopping center in Vancouver is the latest project in which Anlev joined with independent partners to deliver a modern, efficient and safe escalator system.
Choosing the ideal partners for its projects is the primary challenge for escalator manufacturer Anlev, a Hong Kong company that succeeded in forging a solid relationship with retail giant Walmart that continues to grow. Completed in partnership with Hayes Elevator of Vancouver, Canada, and Stannah Lifts, Holdings Ltd. of Hampshire, U.K., the latest Walmart project for Anlev involved installation of escalators in a store in Richmond, Canada, at Central at Garden City Mall. The team also supplied units for the mall itself. The system included:
- Two escalators with a rise of 21 ft., 6 in. in the main mall
- Two escalators with a rise of 14 ft., 6 in. and two escalators with a rise of 19 ft., 6 in. in Walmart
All units travel at 100 fpm and have 40-in.-wide steps. They are equipped with safety features that meet the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association and British Columbia Safety Authority (BCSA). A BCSA engineer inspected these features onsite, which included full-load tests and resulted in adjustment of the brake arm.
Anlev Sales Manager Samuel Cheng observes that an independent company installing both lifts and escalators in Vancouver is a rarity. He explains the ultimate goal is for Anlev to support independents throughout North America that otherwise would not be able to bid on jobs that include escalators. He states:
“Projects can contain one to two escalators and 10 lifts in a single tender, and independents should be able to bid on them. Many independent companies don’t want to work with such systems, because they cannot find reliable escalator suppliers and are unfamiliar with the equipment. As a result, this market has been dominated by big internationals for decades, and some of the independents are afraid of liability and don’t trust a Chinese product. Ironically, almost all new escalators are made in China nowadays. The end customer should also be able to have the option of choosing an independent over a major international corporation.”
Anlev consistently forges and maintains relationships with independent lift companies, empowering them with medium- and high-speed lifts, escalators and moving walks to grow their business. Cheng shares that Anlev CEO Dr. Otto Poon had connections in the U.K., since he had studied and lived there while earning his engineering degree. Poon reached out to ASDA (which Walmart owns), bringing its engineering team to visit the Anlev factory in Nanjing, China, to assess the company’s capability, professionalism and knowhow.
After ASDA Walmart U.K. had been in a relationship with Anlev for five years, ASDA’s former Commercial Manager Bill Urqhart wrote to colleagues:
“Products from Anlev have been evaluated and approved by our in-house technical teams and mechanical consultants. During this period, in excess of 40 units have been installed in our stores, providing essential movement of 2.8 million customers per week. Anlev developed their product to meet our requirements and have been found to be an extremely innovative and proactive supplier. On a personal note, I have found Poon to be a businessman of great personal and professional integrity who delivers what he promises.”
Most recently, Anlev won a contract to modernize two controllers in existing moving walks in ASDA stores in Europe. As for North America, as of press time, Anlev had not yet won any new work related to the Richmond project. However, Cheng says he is optimistic about a potential ripple effect, stating, “We believe that if you can meet the requirements of a Walmart, you can sell your product to other shopping malls and supermarkets, because there are so many people who use [Walmart’s] escalators that they must have good quality, safety and reliability.”
In Hong Kong, Anlev has teams that perform installation, maintenance and major repair work. Cheng says the teams adhere to strict government standards, stating:
“Anlev has held the highest safety and quality lift and escalator performance ratings from the Hong Kong government since it launched. This indicates the culture of the group, which aims to deliver top-quality products and services to clients.”
Anlev broke into the North American market in 2011 after meeting representatives of Abell Elevator of Kentucky at a National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) convention and partnering with Abell on the Owensboro Convention Center in Kentucky (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2014). Since then, the company has secured many projects throughout North America, including Kingsclub residential tower in Toronto, Robert B. Rowling Hall at the University of Texas at Austin and the mixed-use 215 Chrystie Street in New York City. It has many diverse projects around the world, including:
- Leeds railway station, U.K.
- Cairo Metro, Egypt
- Dongtan, Seoul and Incheon metros, South Korea
- Valiasr Square, Iran
- REWE Group supermarkets, Germany
- Expo 2015, Milan, Italy
- Ferraz Station, São Paulo, Brazil
This track record is a big reason why Hayes Elevator reached out to Anlev regarding the Walmart project after Hayes Chief Operating Officer Al Hayes met Cheng at an NAEC convention in 2013. Hayes states:
“So far, Anlev has been an amazing company to deal with. The escalators, after some alterations for the seismic conditions we face here in Vancouver, are working very well. We can’t say enough about Anlev as to how professional and supportive they are. Without exaggeration, they are one of, if not the best, supplier we have ever dealt with.”