Gavin Prior, operations director at intu, said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed more people back to intu Victoria Centre yesterday. There has been a wonderful vibe, with socially distanced queues forming for brands like JD Sports from early yesterday morning. Our visitors have been playing their part by staying socially distanced and following all the other safety measures we have in place to make sure all intu centres are safe places to visit and work. It’s great to see all our teams’ hard work and planning come into action.
“In preparation for this week, we carried out some research with 2,000 regular shopping centre visitors which found that many people were looking forward to returning to shops if there were the right safety measures and we certainly saw that come true yesterday. It is clear from the queues that people have been excited about returning to the shops and we are doing everything we can to make that experience both safe and joyful.
“Footfall across all intu centres is naturally lower than the same day last year but by 2pm yesterday had grown by 218% compared to the previous Monday and we expect the number of visitors to steadily increase towards the weekend as more of us look to venture out to the shops and more brands reopen. Around 40% of the shops in intu centres were open yesterday and many more are planning on reopening over the next week or two as they continue to put the right safety measures in place.
“We’d like to thank all the teams at intu and all the brands in our centres who have been working incredibly hard to make sure intu centres are safe places to visit and work.”