'Business as usual' for mall despite owners fall into administration

The Bon Accord shopping centre in Aberdeen suffered 'unsustainable cash flow issues' following the pandemic.

‘Business as usual’ for Bon Accord Shopping Centre in Aberdeen despite owners fall to administration

A shopping centre in Aberdeen will continue trading as usual despite its owners having plunged into administration.

The Guernsey-based owners of the Bon Accord shopping centre – Aberdeen Retail 1 Limited and Aberdeen Retail 2 Limited – have been placed into administration.

Stemming from the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising operational costs and intense retail competition, the Granite City hub is said to have suffered “unsustainable cash flow problems”.

James Fennessey, Blair Milne, Colin Haig and Matthew Richards, partners with accountancy firm Azets, have been appointed joint administrators of both companies.

The administrators have said that it will continue to be “business as usual” in the centre, while they ensure that the operating companies can continue to trade as the centre and its assets are prepared to be sold.

All management employees will also be retained following the appointment of the administrators.

The average annual footfall to the Bon Accord Shopping Centre pre-Covid was 15 million visitors.

Built in 1990, the centre extends to two main buildings on George Street and Union Street, featuring 72 retail units over three floors and 1400 car parking spaces in two owner-operated car parks.

Additional period buildings on George Street, Upper Kirkgate, Loch Street and Gallowgate provide extra retail and ancillary space, offices, residential units, and the listed Students Union building.

James Fennessey, restructuring partner with Azets said: “The Bon Accord Shopping Centre and the St Nicholas Centre, which merged with the Bon Accord in 2020, are long-established and retail centres with a very strong brand name and awareness across the north of Scotland. 

“They have consistently attracted and retained a wide range of quality retail tenants over the years, and regularly draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. 

“The contribution of the Bon Accord to the economy of the north east is significant and the centre is as much a social hub and focal point for the city as it is a retail centre.

“We will now quickly stabilise the trading position and wish to reassure tenants, shoppers and stakeholders that it is very much business as usual.

“Interested parties are asked to contact the selling agents, Cushman & Wakefield, as soon as possible as we are keen to try and find a buyer promptly.”

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