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Debenhams to anchor Intu Watford

Tuesday January 19th 2016

Debenhams is to become an anchor store at the Intu Watford shopping centre.

The department store chain has signed up for a 113,000 square foot store within the centre’s new 400,000 square foot extension. When the extension is fully built, Intu Watford will become a 1.4 million square foot retail and leisure destination.

Rob Hadfield, property director of Debenhams, said: “Watford has been a long time target location for us. With consistently high levels of customer requests for a new store there, the town was in our top five list of planned sites.

"The extension to Intu Watford is a great setting for a new Debenhams department store. The existing footfall at the centre is really strong and the affluent catchment is perfect for our exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.”

CACI has estimated that following completion of the extension, Watford will be promoted to the top 20 of its national retail destination ranking, alongside Edinburgh and Bristol. As a direct result, the town will also be reclassified as a premium London satellite.

Rebecca Ryman, regional director of Intu, said: “With John Lewis and Marks & Spencer already anchoring Intu Watford, we wanted to add an additional anchor as part of our development plans that would complement our existing and future retail mix. Bringing Debenhams to Watford creates more choice and appeal for our customers, meaning all our retailers can flourish.”

With work having begun on site in late 2015, the new extension will house up to 16 shops, 10 restaurants and a nine-screen IMAX cinema. This will be accompanied by a full mall upgrade of the existing centre alongside the creation of a public square that will host an events programme, including street art and music shows.