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Forever The Glades or a step intu the future?

PUBLISHED: 14:55 01 February 2013 | UPDATED: 14:55 01 February 2013

The Glades is set to become intu Bromley in May.

The Glades is set to become intu Bromley in May.

Archant

When news that The Glades would be changing its name after almost 22 years, some were highly critical.

Set to become intu Bromley, the shopping centre will become a uniform part of a nationwide chain including Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Lakeside, in Essex.

Owners Capital Shopping Centres are investing £25million into the rebranding of 12 locations labelled as “ridiculous” and “impersonal” by some Bromley shoppers.

However, a borough-based marketing expert has explained that the intu brand will be more than just a name change – being more “internet friendly” in a market that has changed.

Steve Lipscombe, director of Ronin Marketing, in East Street, said: “Things are very different on the high street compared to when the Glades opened in 1991. There was no internet shopping, the high street was different and there was no Bluewater. The owners can’t ignore that.

“They will want to improve the shopping experience for customers and attract the best retailers. Change will bring it to the forefront of people’s minds, regardless of what they think.

“And I suspect that one consideration for the name will be its friendliness online, as I’m sure the internet will play a greater role for the centre in future – the Glades throws up all sorts in a search engine.

“But think back to the furore over the Olympics logo when that came out – now that’s the last thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of the Olympics. If customers enjoy the shopping experience the same will apply for intu Bromley – time will tell.”

The Glades General Manager, Howard Oldstein

We are getting a new name – intu Bromley – as part of a UK wide rebrand for our parent company, Capital Shopping Centres.

We’ve always worked hard to bring new retailers and exciting events to Bromley but the benefit of being part of a national brand is that national and international audiences will sit up and take us even more seriously.

We are already drawing up a new calendar of events with magazines and film companies, who are excited by the opportunity of dealing with us.

Rest assured that time has been spent testing the new name with both customers and retailers.

We worked hard to find something that genuinely worked as a link to our different regional names and as a stand-alone digital domain that wasn’t too ordinary.

But this move is about much more than a name change. We will benefit from a £25million investment across all centres, which will see free WiFi and world-class staff training introduced in Bromley.

Shoppers will also benefit from an even better customer experience. Our new website – launching in April – will make our customers’ lives as easy as possible. Shoppers will be able to order a product from many of our retailers and either choose home delivery or pick it up from our centre at a time that suits them.

We’re also refreshing and updating the centre itself, with new and improved signage and smarter customer service desks.

Shopper Sara Brown, of Fashoda Road, Bromley

Initially, when I heard the name intu I thought what does it mean? Is it an April Fools’ joke? Why do they need to change it?

Having reflected on it, I realised I had never appreciated that The Glades was part of a bigger company that own really well-known places like the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

They need to compete with Westfield which is dominating at the moment, not even just in London but all over the country.

Hopefully this will make Bromley a destination again after Bluewater took a lot of people away and drive business back in.

But I don’t think people will necessarily take to the name and start calling it intu, The Glades is so well known and has been a landmark for the area since I moved here about 14 years ago.

I still think of Primark in town as Allders, so it can take a long while for people to get new names into their heads.

It’s a fear of change that has caused the negative reaction from everyone, I think. The centre itself has changed quite a bit since I have lived here – for the better.

It used to have a food court and that was taken out to move with the times, and that’s what’s happening again with the name.

Whether they call it intu Bromley or intu The Glades, it won’t make too much different – it will always just be The Glades to most people.

What do you think? Email joshua.fowler@archant.co.uk or start the conversation on streetlife.com

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