Press Release / 19 January 2016

Debenhams signs for intu Watford extension

Debenhams signed up as anchor store for the 400,000 sq ft intu Watford extension

intu Watford is adding a new anchor store with the signing of a 113,000 sq ft Debenhams as part of its 400,000 sq ft extension.  When fully built, the extension to the existing intu Watford shopping centre will create a 1.4 million sq ft retail and leisure destination.

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 5 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.

Rob Hadfield
Property director of Debenhams

Once the extension is completed, CACI has estimated 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.

The centre which is easily accessible from the M1 and M25 motorways as well as national rail and London Underground stations attracts a higher than average ABC1 profile (85% of the 15 million annual footfall is ABC1).

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.” 

Work began on site in late 2015 and, once complete, 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.

The joint agents for intu Watford are Lunson Mitchenall and CWM.