£25m rebrand for Capital malls

Trafford CentreSome of Britain's biggest shopping centres are to get new identities after their owner announced plans for a £25 million revamp.

Capital Shopping Centres, whose 15-strong portfolio includes the Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, will adopt the name "intu" as part of the nationwide rebrand for 12 of its sites.
The move mirrors the use of the Westfield name by its rival developer, which has five shopping centres under its own name in the UK.

As well as the creation of names such as the "intu Trafford Centre" and "intu Lakeside", the company will install free wifi across its estate so shoppers can log on to the internet and its website from their smartphones.

Capital Shopping Centres plans to sell fashion items from its tenants and other retailers on the intu site, which will be launched in April. It is hoped the move will increase spending for its tenants in store and online, with greater footfall and shoppers staying longer.

David Fischel, chief executive of Capital Shopping Centres, said at present there was no link between the company name and its individual centres, and the plans would provide new marketing opportunities.

He said the group had to come up with a new word for its name as it was hard to trademark existing words. He added: "It also says what we want people to do, which is to go into the centres."

The other shopping centres to use the intu brand will be Braehead in Glasgow, The Potteries in Stoke, The Chimes in Uxbridge, Eldon Square in Newcastle, the Broadmarsh and Victoria centres in Nottingham, Chapelfield in Norwich, The Harlequin in Watford and The Glades in Bromley.

St David's in Cardiff, Manchester's Arndale centre and Bristol's The Mall at Cribbs Causeway will remain the same because they are jointly owned.

Kate Calvert, a retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, said the rationale for the rebranding and creation of one identity with multichannel access should benefit tenants and customers alike. She added: "The name "intu Trafford" and "intu Lakeside" may not give Capital Shopping Centres 10 out of 10 for originality, or spelling, but does have a ring we will get used to and should work."
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