Preston’s St George’s shopping centre has recently fallen into administration, marking it as one of the few retail locations to struggle in the current challenging environment for landlords. The administration process is being managed by Alex Williams and Andrew Dolliver from EY, while Munroe K will continue to oversee the property and Sovereign Centros will remain the asset manager. Despite the lockdown restrictions forcing many stores to close, the shopping centre is still operational.

Among the tenants at St George’s are several well-known names in the fashion industry, including H&M, River Island, Quiz, Claire’s, Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Select, New Look, and M&S. In 2015, the centre was acquired by private equity firm InfraRed Capital Partners for an estimated £73 million. Initially, there were plans to expand the variety of dining options in the mall to cater to the growing trend of providing leisure experiences to attract shoppers. However, these plans were abandoned before the end of 2019.

The year 2020 proved to be incredibly challenging for the shopping centre, as many landlords in the UK experienced low rent collections due to temporary store closures and financial struggles faced by retailers. Unfortunately, the St George’s shopping centre is now facing similar difficulties, which ultimately led to its administration.

The collapse of retail locations, particularly notable ones like St George’s, underscores the immense pressure that landlords are currently under during the ongoing pandemic crisis. With the closure of Intu Properties being the most high-profile casualty thus far, it is evident that the retail industry is still grappling with the consequences of the pandemic. Landlords and property managers now face the task of finding solutions to keep these locations operational and appealing to shoppers once restrictions are lifted. The future of the St George’s shopping centre will heavily rely on the efforts of the administrators and the collaboration of all parties involved.

Useful links:
1. BBC: Preston’s St George’s shopping centre falls into administration
2. Reuters: Collapse of UK’s Intu puts shopping centres in crisis