The news that intu has gone into administration will initially come as a shock or concern to many people and businesses locally, but Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID is advising patience and not overreacting at this point in the process.
Jonathan Bellamy, Chair of the BID, comments: “First of all, under administration, we understand that the centre should remain open. This means that all the shops within it will be able to continue trading as usual – it’s just the property company, the landlord, that has gone into administration and not the businesses based there. The real change will take place behind the scenes between intu, the administrator, and the various potential interested parties. And while they are all negotiating, it is likely the public won’t experience any effect to their shopping experience locally.”
But would intu Potteries be an attractive opportunity for a rival competitor to snap up?
“Absolutely!” Jonathan continues. “intu Potteries is one of the better performing centres in the intu portfolio. Debenhams’ recent decision to remain open in Stoke-on-Trent shows this. Add to this that there are no other shopping centre rivals in the City Centre to compete with it; it has a huge footprint of potential customers within just 20 miles; it has the greater percentage of its 80 shopping units and restaurants currently filled; and not least a busy paying car park; who wouldn’t want to take over such an asset? I would have every expectation that another business out there will look extremely favourably at taking such a stake in the Stoke-on-Trent retail landscape and acquire such an attractive shopping centre opportunity.”
“In the meantime, the BID stands ready to support any business operating within the shopping centre wherever and however we can, as we have been doing under the COVID 19 restrictions.”