Preston's St George's mall calls in administrators
We’ve heard a lot about the pressure that landlords are under, but relatively few retail locations have failed so far with the Intu Properties collapse the highest-profile casualty of the pandemic crisis.
However, we’ve also now heard that the St George’s shopping centre in Preston has gone into administration with Alex Williams and Andrew Dolliver from EY acting as administrators to the mall.
It continues to operate — albeit under lockdown restrictions that means many of its stores are shut — and The Business Desk reported that Munroe K will remain in place as property manager, alongside asset manager Sovereign Centros.
Tenants at St George’s include a raft of fashion’s big names such as H&M, River Island, Quiz, Claire’s Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Select, New Look, and M&S.
The centre was acquired by private equity firm InfraRed Capital Partners in 2015 for a sum reported to be £73 million.
There had been ambitious plans to expand the dining offer at the mall in 2019, in line with trends at the time that focused on the importance of providing more leisure experiences to attract shoppers to retail destinations. But those plans were put on ice before 2019 was over and 2020 is likely to have been hugely challenging for the centre.
Most UK landlords that report publicly have said that rent collections were low from last March with retailers either struggling to pay or unwilling to pay the full amount for shops that were temporarily closed.
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