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26 June 2020, 12:25
The UK's 17 biggest shopping centres are in danger of closing down.
The retail giant which owns some of the UK's biggest shopping centres has warned it might go into administration, which would leave 17 outlets at risk of shutting down.
Following months of losses and failed talks with lenders, Intu has said it will likely collapse if it cannot secure a deal by midnight on Friday.
The company - which owns Lakeside in Thurrock, Manchester Arndale and the Trafford Centre - was already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic hit the retail industry, reportedly in £4.5bn debt.
The company said it received just 29% of the rent it was due in March 2020, as retailers such as Topshop and Debenhams turned to payment holidays to survive lockdown.
Intu's centres were also partially shut down from March 23rd, which meant the company was forced to put about 60% of shopping centre staff and 20% of head office employees on furlough.
In its update to investors on Friday, the company said it had failed to reach agreement in discussions with lenders on 'standstill' terms.
With administrators KPMG currently on standby, 132,000 jobs are at risk, including the 3,000 in house workers and thousands more at outlets.
Adrian Palmer, professor at Henley Business School told The Mirror: "Intu has confirmed that it has appointed KPMG to prepare it for possible administration at the end of this week. There is a real possibility that its shopping centres, including those at Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Gateshead’s Metro Centre – could shut their doors.
"Intu’s troubles are indicative of problems affecting the retail property sector which has been having a bad time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to other troubled sectors, many of its current problems were firmly trending before the pandemic.”
See the full list of Intu shopping centres at risk below:
intu Braehead Glasgow
intu Broadmarsh, Nottingham
intu Chapelfield, Norwich
intu Eldon Square, Newcastle
intu Lakeside, Essex
intu Merry Hill, West Midlands
intu Metrocentre, Gateshead
intu Milton Keynes
intu Potteries, Stoke on Trent
intu Trafford Centre, Manchester
intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham
St David's, Cardiff
The Mall, Cribbs Causeway