INTU the major shopping centre owner and operator has gone into administration. Let’s talk about it.
INTU own and operate some of the biggest shopping centres in the UK and went into administration today. COVID-19 had something to do with it, but the writing was on the wall. Yes, the debt pile had something to do with it too. Shopping centres are not cheap things to build or to run. Tenants not paying up or going bust, yep another “some of it”. Non paying or defaulting tenants are an occupational hazard for every landlord, residential or commercial, big or small.
No these reasons in my opinion are not the total sum of the parts. You see I think there is a much bigger problem in retail. I must declare an interest here. I absolutely hate these sorts of shopping centres with a passion. Too big, too busy and not enough to entice me to visit. Then you have the chavs who frequent these places and my biggest pet hate, the parents who cannot keep their screaming belligerent kids under control in such a place. I have long harped on to any individual retailer that will listen that they must must make it more of an experience and a pleasant one at that to visit the store. This actually also goes for the likes of INTU too. I am not the only one that dislikes their sort of shopping centres. If you want me to spend money with your clients you need to make we want to visit your shopping centre in the first place!
This is where I much prefer online shopping if I can get away with it. Now online shopping has its own drawbacks but given a choice between visiting a ghastly shopping centre or sitting at home with my laptop, my favourite armchair, a cup of tea and my favourite chocolate biscuits I will happily take the latter over the former!
So for the shopping owners and operators and retailers to get more people through the door they need to make the shopping experience better. This may help stop another shopping centre or owner from going bust.