Barton Square New
Vinci was the main contractor for the £75m refurbishment of Barton Square

Trafford Centre Primark to open as retail picks up

Dan Whelan

The fashion retailer’s 65,000 sq ft store at the Barton Square extension is to open on June 15 in line with the reopening of Primark’s 153 English outlets. 

Primark signed for the unit in August 2017 and was at the time expected to take up the unit in 2019.

The unit was previously occupied by BHS and is part of the £75m refurbishment of Barton Square, the Trafford Centre extension designed by architecture firm Leach Rhodes Walker and carried out by Vinci Construction.  

The refurbishment includes a new glazed roof over Barton Square, which is home to other brands including Next Home, Sea Life, the Legoland Discovery Centre and Laura Ashley. 

Vinci was appointed as main contractor in March 2018, and following early delays the store was set to open in March, but this was delayed due to the Government-imposed lockdown restrictions. 

Primark is introducing safety measures for shoppers, including increased cleaning, hand sanitiser stations and a limit on the number of customers in the shop at any given time. 

The news comes as the retail industry gears up to start trading again. Liverpool One retail precinct has announced that stores can reopen from 15 June, and Ravenhead Retail Park in St Helens has said it will start to reopen on the same day. 

Ikea opened 19 stores nationwide this week, with huge queues forming at its Warrington branch on Monday. 

The Government intends to publish a code of conduct on commercial rent payments to support businesses during the pandemic. Many retailers have been especially hard hit by low or non-existent footfall which has damaged revenues.

Intu Properties, the Trafford Centre’s troubled landlord, reported at the end of March that it had received only 29% of quarterly rents due compared to 77% at the same time last year. Overall commercial rent collection in the North West dropped 35% in April compared to the average percentage for the last two years, according to figures last month from Re-leased, a cloud-based property management platform.

In May, Intu entered into discussions with lenders to reach a standstill agreement on certain debt payments while the retail market rides out the current uncertainty.

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Primark, very classy.

By Merswy