Intu calls in administrators
Retail expert Dr Gordon Fletcher, of the University of Salford Business School, comments as shopping centre owner Intu falls into administration.
Dr Fletcher said: “Intu's fall into administration will probably be remembered as the biggest corporate failure of the pandemic lockdown. However with nearly £5bn of debt and no more lifelines from its creditors Intu's predicament predates COVID-19. KPMG the newly appointed administrators have said that the centres will remain open. This means that for most consumers there will be little visible difference. But for the tens of thousands employees who work for one of Intu's many tenants these are uncertain times.
“As one of the biggest landlords for so many retailers that were forced to shut during the lockdown the end of this property company was rapidly accelerated. Incomes from rentals contracted and the business model is primarily based on this single source.
“The model for all shopping centres has changed little since the 1960s but consumers have. The consumer desire for experiences override the utilitarian functionality of this model and will need to be a consideration for any prospective buyer for Intu's many large properties.”
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