Under-pressure Intu creates strategic team to drive footfall, dwell time
The creation of a new team dedicated to transforming retail experiences sets the tone for a new decade at Intu, the troubled shopping centre owner which is trying to raise £1 billion from existing and new shareholders to survive.
The owner of Lakeside in Essex revealed on Friday the creation of a new director role, which will lead the joint efforts of its development, asset management, operations, marketing and commercialisation teams to drive forward the transformation of its centres.
Martin Breeden has been promoted from development director to centre performance director, and tasked with delivering what Intu describes as “spaces where people continue to love to be”.
More specifically, this means that Breeden will focus on developing new and innovative ways to improve footfall, dwell time and rental performance. After the recent opening of new extensions at Intu Lakeside and Intu Watford, the strategy could include introducing more leisure attractions, experiences and mixed-used spaces such as homes, offices and hotels.
“Intu already owns many of the country’s most popular destinations and we have always concentrated on creating compelling day-out destinations for our visitors to enjoy. The new centre performance directorate gives us the opportunity to utilise our combined expertise and creativity to make our spaces even better places to visit, with new events, design enhancements and brands,” said Breeden.
The restructure has led to the departure of Trevor Pereira, commercial and digital director, and Julian Wilkinson, asset management director, while Gavin Prior has been promoted from centre director to operations director.
Creaking under a £4.7bn debt pile, Intu revealed earlier this week plans to raise equity from investors to fix its balance sheet. The proposal hit its first obstacle just a day after the announcement, with Hong Kong-based Link pulling out due to undisclosed reasons.
Intu continues to negotiate with other investors to secure the deal.
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