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Last Updated: Friday, 11 February, 2005, 15:42 GMT
Shopping centre set to lose store
Artist's impression of the development
The development is expected to open in late 2006
A 200m shopping centre in Devon will almost certainly have to be built without the big department store that was supposed to underpin it.

Allders had been described as the flagship to the development at Drake Circus in Plymouth.

But the entire Allders chain is due to be broken up and sold.

Some experts say the lack of an anchor department store does not necessarily create a problem, saying Allders' site could be split into two or three units.

The department store chain was put up for sale last December, but failed to secure a buyer.

Gap, New Look, Next and the Spanish retailer Mango, could well be interested
Christine Eade, Property Week

The company went into administration in January after losses by the 45-strong chain of stores, and it was announced on Friday that nearly 700 staff have been made redundant "to remove overstaffing".

It leaves the Drake Circus development with only three major names to have signed up, including Marks and Spencer, Boots, and the Spanish fashion chain Zara.

Christine Eade from Property Week believes there would be no shortage of stores who may want to go into the development.

She said: "I think Gap, New Look, Next and the Spanish retailer Mango, could well be interested.

Abercrombie blueprint

"When these newcomers come into the UK they tend to like a modern, clean shopping centre, rather than a cute higgledy-piggledy shambles of an old shop, so these are the type of stores that will be being talked to."

The shopping development is part of urban planner David Mackay's 2003 long-term plan for Plymouth.

The Barcelona-based architect said he wanted to retain the best of the 1940s Abercrombie master plan, the blueprint from which Plymouth was rebuilt after World War II.

The redevelopment of the Drake Circus area of the city is expected to be complete by Autumn 2006, in time for Christmas trading.

Allders break up threatens jobs
06 Feb 05 |  Business
Allders goes into administration
26 Jan 05 |  Business


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