Investment News | 16 September 2020

Bright future for retail in Derby

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intu Derby is under new management as real estate investment and finance firm Cale Street Partners has consolidated its ownership of the shopping centre, thereby securing full control.

Derby is the first of 17 intu shopping centres in the UK to migrate to new management since the firm entered administration in June. The management and day-to-day operation of the centre will be the responsibility of international property firm Savills and its former Executive Director of Capital & Regional, Ken Ford.

In 2019, Cale Street Partners paid £186.3m for half of the centre in a deal funded by the London-based Kuwaiti Investment Office following discussions with Derby City Council and Marketing Derby at global property exhibition, MIPIM. The recent deal has been completed for an undisclosed sum.

Derby’s Economic Recovery Task Force has welcomed the news with Leader of Derby City Council, Cllr Chris Poulter saying: “We have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with intu Derby’s local management team and will be seeking to continue that relationship with the new owners.”

A full rebranding project will be undertaken in the coming months.

The centre sits in an affluent core catchment of 2.3 million consumers with an annual spending potential of £10.9 billion and attracts an annual footfall of more than 21 million people.

Ken Ford commented: “The fundamentals of Derby remain strong and I am looking forward to working with the team to develop a repositioning strategy that will ensure the centre can continue its positive trajectory. The centre enjoys high levels of interest from national brands, thanks to its strong catchment and footfall, and our plans will only help further this potential.”

He will be supported by the existing centre team to deliver an innovative and agile asset management strategy for the city centre destination.

Jim Tucker, joint administrator of intu properties plc, said: “This is the first intu centre to migrate to new management and ownership following the administration of the Group’s Topcos back in June, and as such marks a key milestone in the administration process. To have achieved such a smooth and orderly handover in such a short timescale is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved, not least the intu Derby employees who have continued to work with enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the administration.”

The centre offers an attractive and high-quality environment with over 200 retailers. Adam Tamsett, General Manager, said: “The centre has proven extremely resilient in recent months with an occupation rate above 90 per cent, and the signing of new brand names this summer including Whistles, The Disney Store and Rickshaw Urban Indian Kitchen. The new management team will help build on this success to develop a new vision for the centre, and the onsite team are optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council commented: “Our economic recovery strategy recognises the challenges facing the retail sector, which have been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, but we are committed to ensuring that retail continues to play a key role in a vibrant city centre that also has a great leisure, culture, business and living offer. Cale Street will be a key partner in delivering that vision.”


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