Manchester Arndale and Other Centers Face Down Rioters

London’s retailers and shopping centers are under siege this week, as riots continue to spread through the city and its surrounding areas. Many centers are closed or are closing early to keep employees and shoppers safe, and police are guarding many a center entrance as they are prime targets for looters.

We’ve heard from Manchester Arndale, one of the affected centers. The folks at the center have been doing their best to keep business moving as usual despite the chaos, and they’ve had to make some difficult decisions.

Yesterday, they made the decision to close the center early and secure it, which probably spared it quite a lot of damage. One of the center’s entrances was damaged, and has since been boarded up. 14 retailers with external shop windows were damaged, and a designer footware store was smashed and looted. This store, Foot Asylum, has been boarded up and is hoping to reopen soon. The center is closing up early again tonight.

Glen Barkworth, general manager at Manchester Arndale said “We were well prepared and had already made the decision to close early when we were targeted by a number of youths intent on creating trouble. As the night progressed, the situation worsened and unfortunately one of our designer footwear stores was badly hit. Despite this, we have worked throughout the night to create a safe centre and we were determined to open as usual today. We are working collaboratively with the Greater Manchester Police authorities and our partners within the city centre and will be constantly monitoring the situation. A decision has been taken that we will close the centre early again this evening, so as to ensure the safety of staff, retailers and customers.”

Here’s hoping the center will stay safe from here on out. And beyond that, all of us at Shopping Center Weekly hope all our readers affected by the riots stay safe and well out of the violence, and that your centers are secure.

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