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Trafford Centre Looks To Growth After Year Of Stabilisation

Trafford Centre is upscaling its retail offer under a focused asset management programme.

The return of Gap and the largest flagship stores in their entire estates for JD Sports and Tessuti reflect a new momentum for the Trafford Centre after a challenging two years, according to leasing specialist Pradera Lateral.

The company has been rejigging the retail offer at the out-of-town shopping centre over the past 18 months following previous owner Intu’s administration in 2020, which saw Canada Pension Plan Investment Board take over in December 2020.

CPPIB had been a key lender to Intu before it filed for administration and had provided the company with a £250M junior debt facility, specifically for Intu’s Trafford Centre subsidiary.

Although a sale process was launched in June 2020, no viable bids were received by administrators and, as a creditor, CPPIB exercised its rights to take ownership of Trafford Centre.

A major part of the retail restructure has involved creating distinct zones across the huge out-of-town mall — the UK’s third-largest shopping centre — populating the area around the Selfridges department store with luxury and premium retail and creating zones for fashion and high street retail.

“The initial stage was really about stabilisation and we have now moved into a growth phase, in particular upsizing a number of key tenants including Next, JD Sports and Tessuti,” Pradera Lateral Managing Director Barry Cox told Bisnow at MAPIC in Cannes.

For JD Sports and Tessuti, these are now the largest stores in their estate, and Next is also reintroducing Gap through its upsized store as one of a handful of targeted openings, while H&M has added H&M Home to its expanded unit.

“We have based the leasing team in the centre and that’s really important, because you need to be walking the centre, talking to retailers and seeing how things are really working. You can’t asset manage on a spreadsheet from a London office,” Pradera Lateral Retail Director Marcus Briggs added.

Pradera Lateral has also added three new assets to its UK portfolio, an indoor ski slope in Glasgow, a retail asset in Stoke and Eldon Square, Newcastle.