HERTS LARGEST SHOPPING CENTRE REPORTS FOOTFALL RISE

Lucy Neave

Shopping centre giant intu has reported a sharp rise in footfall since mandatory face coverings came into force on 24 July.

New figures have shown that intu-branded centres saw a rise of 7 per cent compared with Springboard’s national benchmark of 4.4 per cent.

While not yet back to pre-Covid levels, “this steady improvement in footfall demonstrates that some of the best locations are starting early steps to recovery”, the listed company said.

Across intu’s 13 retail destinations, 85 per cent of brands are now open, including 68 per cent of F&B and leisure brands.

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Jim Tucker, joint administrator of intu properties plc and partner at KPMG, said: “A shopping centre environment, by its nature of being a private space, can be more closely managed and the visitor experience adjusted carefully.

“Safety measures can be put in place to control the number of people in a location at any one time, managing the flow of people ensuring social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, and making sure that face coverings are worn throughout.

“This level of control over a shopping environment creates a place where visitors and brands can interact with some peace of mind, something that cannot always be achieved in an open, unmanaged space.

“And from the data, we can see that that this peace of mind is encouraging more people back, more quickly.”   

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