The owner of Intu Watford, one of the largest shopping centres in Hertfordshire has gone into administration.
The Intu group owns 14 centres across the UK which include Lakeside in Essex and the Trafford Centre in Manchester. It means that over 10,000 people are now at risk of losing their jobs.
A statement on the Intu website says: “On 26 June 2020, Jim Tucker, David Pike and Mike Pink were appointed Joint Administrators of Intu Properties Plc and seven other central group companies. The names of these companies are set out below (“the Administration Companies”).
“Administrators have not been appointed over any of the property companies that own the shopping centres which are continuing to trade as normal with support of the Administration Companies which intend to continue to provide services to these shopping centres.”
Many people are concerned about the collapse in Watford. The shopping centre provides the area with a huge amount of business and provides 10% of Watford’s entire workforce.
One person commented on Twitter saying: “Intu should have never been allowed to buy and “improve” shopping centres at the rate they did. I worked at Intu Watford (formerly the harlequin) before and after the change and it only got more and more dead after Intu pumped a load of money into it”
Watford Labour Party tweeted: “With Intu on the brink of administration, this is a really concerning scenario for Watford residents and the future of our town.”
Another person said: “This is extremely worrying for all Watford residents. Intu is the beating heart of the town. The shopping centre will be an attractive proposition but in the context of a steady decline of high street retail & a Covid slump, we need the community to breathe new life into it”
A twitter user commented saying: “Hopefully the Harlequin in Watford can go back to its proper name – nobody ever called it Intu anyway!”
Another person stated: “INTU Watford – John Lewis, Boots, M&S, Primark – all the big names. WTF! We’ll be left with B&M, Wilko and charity shops.”
(Image Credit: Martine Holmes/Google Maps