Milton Keynes is set to see more changes to its shopping district as intu Milton Keynes is set to get a full makeover. Following on from going into administration earlier in the year, parts of intu business are being taken over by a management firm called Ellandi.
Earlier in June, Intu Properties warned that their shopping malls across the UK may have to close their doors for a period. Intu Properties who were £4.5 billion in debt had been in talks with their creditors to obtain standstill agreements. This would have meant Intu would not have to pay back what it has borrowed until the end of 2021. These talks failed and Intu entered administration.
Where did it go wrong for intu Milton Keynes?
There is no definitive answer. It is a case of the perfect storm. Intu Properties had been struggling as a business due to changes in consumer spending habits and competition from the internet. Many ideas and good campaigns were rolled out over the years but the recent lockdown and shop restrictions due to coronavirus have all but finished the once-popular shopping destination.
Over the years, the management team had put on a number of events from intu Student Night with DJ’s and a full club setup to getting a mayor to play a few games of ping pong.
The other issue is that it was too close to Centre:MK, the ‘favourite’ Milton Keynes shopping destination. The rebrand from Midsummer Place to Intu MK was not really successful. With Centre:MK as the main shopping destination in Milton Keynes for so long, intu MK was seen by locals as ‘somewhere else to look at’.
What happens next to intu Milton Keynes?
One thing is for sure is that it will not be rebranded Ellandi Milton Keynes. New owners Ellandi have announced that it will keep its name in the short term. Officially, Ellandi, the privately-owned operator of many UK shopping centres, has been appointed as asset manager for intu Milton Keynes.
Ellandi believes thriving town centres are community hubs and 90% of Ellandi projects house crucial local amenities such as council offices, health services, banks, and post offices as well as libraries and sports facilities. What does this mean for the shopping centre formerly known as Intu Milton Keynes? At this stage, nobody knows. At some point, it will be rebranded and more profitable retailers/tenants will move in.
Earlier this year, fashion retailer Next announced they will be opening a new beauty store in the former Debenhams units. Called ‘The Beauty Hall from Next’, the new concept store will open in units formerly occupied by Debenhams in both intu sites in Watford and Milton Keynes.