Administrators working with intu Lakeside shopping centre have issued an update on the use of vouchers and gift cards after the company announced its collapse.
Intu Properties owns and operates 17 shopping centres across the UK, including Lakeside in West Thurrock, Essex, in addition to a shopping centre and development site in Spain.
Their administration was confirmed on Friday, (June 26), after the company revealed it had been struggling with a £4.5 billion debt for more than a year.
The news left customers concerned for the future of the Lakeside complex, which only recently reopened on June 15 following the easing of lockdown rules in the UK.
However, the company in charge of Intu gift cards has confirmed that all shopping centres will continue to accept vouchers and gift cards despite the company entering administration.
A spokesperson for EML Payments Europe Limited said: “intu gift cards are issued by EML Payments Europe Limited (EML) who are the parent company of Flex-e-Card Limited, the UK-based provider of gift card services to intu – you will see Flex-e-Card’s name on the reverse of intu gift cards.
“All funds associated with these cards are held in a designated client account under the control of EML only. EML settles with Mastercard on a daily basis for all transactions that occur on these gift cards.
“This process is entirely independent of intu and will continue to happen regardless of ownership or control of intu. EML’s obligation is to its cardholders as per the terms and conditions of its cards, and to Mastercard as per its membership agreement.
“The appointment of KPMG as administrator of intu does not alter these obligations.
“As a result, there is no risk to any retail or leisure occupier of any intu centre to continue to accept intu gift cards, as all funds are entirely separate from those held by intu or KPMG to operate the intu business.”
Intu directly employs around 2,400 people while a further 102,000 work for the shops within its shopping centres.
Each year around 400 million visitors visit Intu shopping centres across the UK.
Lakeside Shopping Centre remains open and fully operational while talks between administrators are ongoing.