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Nov 20, 2020
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Rochdale's Wheatsheaf mall to close for good

Nov 20, 2020

The 30-year-old Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre in Rochdale is set to close forever once the current English lockdown comes to an end, with MCR Property Group drawing a line under its three years operating the mall.

The Wheatsheaf will close after 30 years - Photo: Public domain

Wheatsheaf currently hosts a variety of mass-market-focused retailers including New Look, Peacocks, Select, Beauty Zone and Solo.

The developer has owned the 163,000 sq ft space since 2017 and had planned to target new retail, leisure and commercial tenants to add to the mall’s current offer.

But TheBusinessDesk reported that the change in consumer shopping habits due first to online shopping and latterly due to the pandemic has put paid to that plan. 

It added that footfall to the location has been down an average of 45% since it reopened in June after the spring lockdown. The current lockdown seems to be the last straw.

The shopping centre had lost various major tenants in recent years and given that current tenants New Look and Select are operating under CVAs, while Peacocks is now in administration, the prospects aren’t bright for rent yields.

MCR’s Charles Denby said: “Nationwide we continue to see a large number of retailers experiencing serious trading difficulties, and more are resorting to insolvency procedures to cut their rent bills. This year has been a surreal, once in a generation experience that will not be forgotten.

“When the change in shopping habits collides with reduced income, an excess of space, and cost structures that are simply no longer realistic, landlords have to take action.”

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